Spotlight on our departing Student Council President and outgoing Head Girl and Boy

This last weekend saw us saying goodbye to an extraordinary class full of incredibly confident, successful and responsible individuals. But for the purposes of this article, we would like to shine the spotlight on our three departing leaders. Find out what they achieved whilst in the School and what they are going on to do next.

Marvin Onwukwe – Head Boy (January 2017- December 2018)

It was not surprising that Marvin was elected into the position of head boy as he is such an inspirational leader: a young man of integrity, who leads through example.  The kind of leader we all hope to be led by. He is one of the most well-rounded individuals that we have ever had in our school. He is a talented sportsman, renowned for his gritty determination in long distance running, holding records for 1500m and 800m. He has competed for the school both nationally and internationally in rugby, football, athletics, cross country and basketball and received a range of awards including the ‘Sportsman of the Year’ Award twice. But it is not just his sporting success that stands out, it is the fact that he is such an exemplary sportsman that makes him exceptional: he is polite to his opponents and encouraging and motivational to his team. He never loses his temper, however frustrated he may feel. He is also academically successful, with a string of A grades to his name: Hard work, perfect attendance and never missing a deadline all play a part in his success. Few people are great on the sports field, talented in athletics and equally as dazzling in the Arts. Yet Marvin is just this: He has performed in 7 school plays and most notably as Eric in An Inspector Calls: learnt all his lines and attended all the afterschool rehearsals, on top of studying for his A levels; he is an impressive dancer;  gained a distinction in his LAMDA grade 8 Public Speaking and won an award for his inspirational speaking at the MUN special summit.  Marvin always gives his best and never gives up. This determination, focus and drive were seen in his successful summit of Meru and Kilimanjaro and in the way he led his team of prefects last year. His successes were recognized when he was awarded the Head teacher’s Award twice.

We are very proud of Marvin and the positive mark he has left on the school. He is going to study Biological Science in the University of Maryland in the USA. I predict that he will later serve his country is a very senior position in the future.  

 

 Ttanya Sachdev – Head Girl  (January 2017- December 2018)

Although on a first meeting, Ttanya may appear quiet, shy and retiring, she is anything but! Her powerful speech for the position of Head Girl, left no doubt in anyone’s mind, that she was a force to be reckoned with and her ascent up to the summit of Kilimanjaro showed her grit and determination. Her approach to her Business classes showed her to be diligent, focused and very organized. She never missed a deadline and she always gave her best. As a result, she scored distinctions for every unit that she worked for and gained a distinction * overall. She is a natural leader, able to motivate others, working under her, as seen in the School Enterprise Challenge. Through this competition, her team won $1000 for the school with their social enterprise project, making bags from scraps of material; she also gave up her time to work in the school tuck shop, serving others over the year and keeping meticulous accounts and in between all this, she set up a very successful confectionary business. She impressed her bosses in Nissan Kenya with her professionalism and work ethic during her week of work experience and she impressed all of us in her planning of the women empowerment forum dubbed ‘Sisterhood’ where she, along with some other sixth formers trained 200 girls from our local schools on entrepreneurship, self-esteem and aspirational career paths.  Possibly it was these traits that were recognized in the prestigious BTEC International Award for being the best Business and Enterprise student in the world.

Ttanya’s quiet and humble approach to leadership has inspired many students and staff in our school and we will all really miss her. She is going to the UK to study Business Administration and we have no doubt whatsoever that she will own a very successful business in the not-too-distant future.

 

Kauther Ali – School Council President (January 2017- December 2018)

Kauther has been one of those rare students who demonstrates maturity, amazing confidence and complete independence.  Her organization skills are second to none and she has wonderful creative problem strategies. These skills made her a strong and powerful student council president. She faced student issue head on and got things done. Kauther has been very proactive and tenacious. When she sets her mind on doing something, she will ensure it gets done. She is compassionate and empathetic and as a result she has really pushed the ‘Scholarship Fund’. Through her hard work and single-mindedness, she led a number of fund raising events to collect over $3000 towards Joseph and Phillipo’s scholarship fund. The ‘Colour Fest’ was her brainchild and inspite of all the resistance she faced, she pulled off an amazingly successful event. She came out of this as a ‘determined mobilizer’. In spite of all her whole school responsibilities, Kauther’s academic work never suffered: she put hours of work into her studies in the library, whilst remaining cheerful and helpful at the same time.

Kauther’s maturity and responsibility has made a real difference to our school, especially in what she has achieved for others. As a result, I have no doubt that she will go on to be a very capable and successful Doctor. She is going to The University of Nairobi to study Medicine.

Hitting the Heights of Mount Kilimanjaro

If you thought last week's Year 9 achievement of scaling Little Meru was impressive, just wait until you read about our incredible Kilimanjaro climbers this week!

Our willing teacher adventurers, Ms Elvinah Obuya, Mr Andrew Flanagan and Mr Rob Wallace, gave us this report:

A small but determined groups set off for this year's climb: just five Year 10 boys and 2 girls along with Mr Flanagan, Mr Wallace and two gap students, Moritz and Jackson, and Ms Obuya. Not to mention the small army of porters, cooks and guides.

The climb from Marangu Gate to the first three camps went well. All the students were strong and kept up. No-one dragged or moaned. The weather was dismal but not awful; dull and overcast with drizzle and sometimes heavier rain but never torrential rain and everyone seemed adequately prepared for it. Of course, due to the weather, the views were limited but without that distraction we could really get to appreciate the remarkable flora; club moss, giant groundsel, liverwort Mountain Forest.

As we reached the last camp, we finally rose above the clouds and got some spectacular views of Mawenzi, and the Massai stepp below us. On arrival at Kibo hut, everything looked good for a spectacularly successful trip. However it is above 4,500m that altitude strikes and the next morning the class woke to find that their spritely,  male teacher leaders had transformed to decrepit old men. Fortunately, Jackson and Moritz retained the sprightliness of their youth and, along with Ms Obuya, successfully led the majority of our team to the crater rim. With a few adventurers succumbing to altitude sickness and turning back at or before Gilman's point,  Rajvir, Jaivir, Janina and Pendo continued on and successfully made it to Uhuru Peak, along with Jackson and Moritz.

Back at Kibo hut, the rest of the group were recovering and, as the last of the summit team returned, we were ready to set off for Horombo Hut where we all rested for the night.

Next day, descent to Mandara hut a mere 3 hours away seemed too tame so we strode powerfully the whole of the rest of the way to Marangu gate managing the whole climb in 5 days rather than 6 and securing ourselves a comfortable night’s sleep in clean sheets. Such bliss.

"Never again!" said most of us but already the seeds of the next trip are in our minds. Bring on next year!

International Award Gold Expedition

From Saturday 25th May to Tuesday 28th May 2019 our International Award Gold Students took on their expedition trek in the Babati area, South East of Arusha. Here is Mr Asher Sijenyi with all they got up to:

"The group left Kisongo Campus around 8.15am on the Saturday and managed to get to Babati by 10am. We headed straight to the first assignment – a trek to Riroda area of Babati. The next day we trekked to Gallapo, managing to cover 22 km. This was the toughest section of the expedition. On Monday, our journey took us to Kiru valley – the agricultural basket of the region. We managed to cover 25km. Last but not least was Tuesday's assignment - the breath-taking 'Kisima cha mungu'. This is a deep crater which once filled with water and fish but later on dried up leaving a gaping crater. It was fun going down the crater but, trust me, one of the most difficult climbs we had in the whole journey. To use one of the climber’s words after being cajoled to descend – Alfred had this to say: Today I have witnessed one of the most daring trickery played on me by my team mates."

Congratulations to you all on a fantastic expedition!

Year 12 Team Building in Lukenya

From the 13th to 15th May 2019 our Year 12 students participated in team building, leadership and corporate skills training with BlueSky at Lukenya, in Machakos County, Kenya.

On the first day the students took part in a number of ice breakers and team building activities such as Greetings, Spider’s Tag, Bull Ring, Transformers and Human Knot with a Rope. On the following day, they built further on these skills with team building favourites such as No Escape, Knot or Not a Knot and Nuddle Slap. These exercises are very important in showing students how to work together despite frustration and conflict, which may be involved. These activities also help to develop listening skills.

On the final day, the students took part in Challenge by Choice on the high rope activities, which included Pipe Dream and Leap of Faith. These activities are the culmination of the trip; the students have to move out of their comfort zones and conquer their fears. The other group members support by either providing verbal encouragement or actual physical support through ensuring that their classmates are lowered to safety after completing the high ropes task.

A wonderful time had by all!

NTAA Inter-Schools Cross Country

On Saturday 18th May, a soggy and very muddy BISA hosted the NTAA Inter-Schools Cross Country event.

Six other schools from the Arusha and Moshi area came to join BISA in running the three different cross country routes around the Kisongo area. The routes range from 1.8km to 5km, each with their own challenges, including slippery hills, rugged surfaces and muddy obstacles.

Every competitor took on their course with grit and determination - no mean feat in the rainy season we have been experiencing!

BISA came out as winners overall by a huge margin with wins in 6 out of 10 categories as well! With many personal bests and a few record-breaking performances, our competitors absolutely shone on the day.

A very special mention goes to:

Yuri Lems - 1st Place U13 Boys (3km) with a time of 7m 45s (New Record!)

Clinton Mutuku - 1st Place U15 Boys (3km) with a time of 10m 56s (New Record!)

Congratulations to you all on your fantastic achievements!

Enjoy the highlight reel of the event below: