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Former Alliance principal reveals how he fought bullying for 23 years

Former Alliance High School principal Christopher Khaemba has broken his silence in the wake of heart wrenching tales of bullying at the institution he once led.

Mr Khaemba, who is now the Nairobi County Executive for Land, told Nairobi News how he acquired the nickname ‘Sodium’ because of his strictness at the national school.

“I was nicknamed sodium because of my strictness and instilling discipline to the boys I taught,” said the former principal.

Mr Khaemba was Alliance High School for over 23 years serving on different capacities. He was a senior master between 1984-1990 before being promoted to deputy principal in 1990-1995.


“I have been in Alliance for 23 years and never had any incident such like this… during those days I served as a deputy principal I instilled discipline in the boys,”said Mr Khaemba.

In 1995, he was taken to Friends School Kamusinga in Bungoma County as the principal. He found a culture of bullying at the school, but within six months he had turned things around.

In 1998, he was taken back to Alliance High School as principal, an office he held for ten years.

During his helm, so ingrained was discipline among students, he only remembers dealing with minor indiscipline cases. In 2003 and 2006, he cannot remember clearly, he recalls only demoting school captains over indiscipline.

“I remember vividly that at one point I had suspended and demoted a school captain but I am not sure,” said Mr Khaemba.


His secret? He used to take it on himself to induct Form Ones by holding regular meetings with them to ensure they adapted well.

He would also involve the older students by making them act as guardians of the new students. This ensured students were responsible to each other.

It is a tactic that had served him well at the start of his tenure at Friends School Kamusinga where he found bullying rampant. Students used to have weapons in their dormitories. The incidents however dropped drastically after just a few months of his stay.

Mr Khaemba has faulted the description of the latest events at Alliance High School as a culture of bullying. He prefers labelling them as crime and child molestation.

“One cannot associate me with molestation of boys; I take discipline very serious and bullying is purely a crime and not a tradition,” he told Nairobi News.