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This kiboko was broken during use, like all of the other kiboko we found in Daniel’s school.

Getting beaten with the kiboko, which means hippopotamus or whip in Kiswahili, may sound archaic and inhumane to us, but it is a commonly accepted form of punishment here. Boys are hit on the behind, girls on the hands. Using the kiboko on a student is easily justified by a number of reasons.

1. Arriving after 7am (if a teacher is present to catch you).

2. Coming to school with dusty shoes.

3. Not wearing the standard school approved belt or tie.

4. Having hair longer than ¼ of an inch (males).

5. Carrying a rosary during the day.

6. Failing to bring water to the school during severe droughts.

7. Leaving the classroom for water or a bathroom break, even if there is no teacher present.

8. Not attending the optional Saturday lessons.

9. Noise making.

10. Rudeness.

Daniel doesn’t use the kiboko, but his fellow teachers do. At this point, he has become numb to its use. This was out of necessity. It is the only way to stop the kiboko from breaking the spirit.