“Keagan’s the class joker” – Anele sums up the youngest of the MySchool Dream School crew. That he is. Over the course of the show I’ve developed soft spots for most (okay, all) of the kids for various reasons: Monique because of her tough vulnerability, Zama because of her sweetness, Simphiwe because of his single-minded determination. But Keagan managed to worm his way into my heart almost instantly.
Perhaps it’s because I relate to him very easily. He’s from Joburg’s East Rand, I grew up in the West Rand (although these two corners of Jozi have developed some sort of strange East-West rivalry). Perhaps it was because we come from similar social backgrounds. Or because we’re both addicted to mobile game Angry Birds.
But it could also be because I catch glimpses of my high school self in him. “Why do you think you act like this?” psychologist Esta asked him gently in one of her one-on-one sessions with him. “So I can make friends,” he eventually admitted to her.
He did this admirably in Esta’s pottery class one of his first MySchool Dream School classes. The psychologist asked the students to mould two animals from clay, one they thought was most like them, and another that they aspire to be like (see my episode 2 blog for more on this) . Keagan made a turtle and a chameleon.
“What can a turtle do to become a chameleon?” Esta asked him seriously, clearly hoping for an insightful response. But Keagan simply replied, “Walk faster.” He had the class in hysterics.
In high school, I found myself behaving in a similar fashion. Insecure about my glasses and bad skin as Keagan is about his height, I discovered that making friends was much easier when I made my classmates laugh. Unfortunately, it was often at the expense of other people. But at least this took attention away from me. Unlike Keagan, however, I was (unsurprisingly) a bit of a nerd. So when I found myself in a teacher’s firing line for playing the fool, I’d feel awful , and put my head down and work.
Keagan, as we know, is totally different. He shrugs it off when teachers wring him out for his behaviour.
However, over the course of the past few episodes, I’ve noticed this slowly start to change. Yes, he’s still goofing off at the back of the class most of the time. But every now and then, I’ll catch a glimpse of him focused on the teacher with rapt attention, or with his head down, sticking his tongue out in concentration as he works on his iPad (let’s hope he wasn’t just playing Angry Birds).
He admitted to Esta that he knew his antics needed to stop. “I do actually want to change it,” he said in a session with her. “It’s affecting my school work.”
I hope he does manage to do this. Especially because when Keagan pestered me (as he seemed to develop a penchant for doing) about how old I was – 23 – and whether or not he could have my phone number – no – I told him he could look me up when he was 25.
He seemed happy with this arrangement.
- KIRSTIN BUICK
YOU writer Kirstin Buick had a bird’s eye view of the goings-on on the set of Dream School. Keep up to date with her weekly blog for exclusive behind-the-scenes info.
Catch MySchool Dream School every Sunday at 5 pm on M-Net, M-Net HD, Mzanzi Magic and M-Net Series Channel.