Growing up, patience has never really been my strongest suit. I was a very playful child. Just yesterday I was having a conversation with my mother in our living room after she had posted some graduation photos of myself. She went on about how shocked some of her colleagues and friends were of the fact that I was now a lawyer. Of concern was how fast they all thought I had grown up and how proud they were. Mama then went on about how naughty and completely disinterested in the books I was. This is a bit ironic though. Anyway, we reminisced about my good old days…

I would say that my primary school days were some of my happiest days. Being the scrawny little creature I was, I was not a fan of the girls’ squads per se. I always loved physical activities, games most especially, football; and it was not the girls’ favourite type of sport. However, my reality was that my society valued a good education, and while I was not the top of my class, I was not a poor performer either. I was always contented with whatever grade I got, and I did not understand why a 370+ out of a 500 was not a good enough mark for an eleven year old. Long story short, as was the norm, when I got to grade 7 my parents paid for my tuition after five. However, that was not all. When I got back home I had a special tutor because, why not! Now that I am older, I laugh at the fact that Mr. Shadrack was always annoyed whenever I dozed off during special tutoring but who wouldn’t! I was twelve, had had a whole day of lessons and to make matters worse, I was not exactly allowed to play. This doesn’t just extend to my parents, games were not popular among students from grade six to eight. Hmm, all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy. Needless to say, Mr. Shadrack got my point though, no more tutoring!!!

Now I think you’re catching on … A lot of books, little time to relax or rest and people wonder why I loved the outdoors! I remember being given loads of homework and I’d do it, but I wanted screen time and cartoons too. I resorted to hide behind the dining room curtains as my mom watched her telenovelas in the living room and we’d both watch together. Ha! Both rooms can be considered as one, only that there’s a huge arc instead of a door with curtains which, come to think of it now, have always been drawn for as long as I can remember. I always wondered why we had curtains we never really used. Now I really think they were meant to separate the rooms so that I could study. But which child could when Maria kissed Carlos and the tension grew with every episode?! Okay so maybe my sister didn’t bother as much but I am not as disinterested in telenovelas as she was. Okay so yeah, mama caught me a couple of times, I got the beating a couple of times but whatever. My mom, still talking, mentions the crow story.

Ah, the crow. So this one time in grade three, still in tuition because there was no such thing as babysitting in the small town where I grew up and I had to wait for my sister whose classes went on up to five in the evening. A two hour tuition for a seven year old, heh! So I’m in class, done with my assignments thirty minutes earlier and done with the storybook I was illegally reading in class. Mrs. Kyungu is talking and suddenly, this beautiful creature right outside the door beckons me to come join her. A beautiful crow, noisy bird might I add. Not today Satan, I say in my head (probably, lol) as I throw my only pencil at her. Not sure what happened later, but I’m sure Mrs. Kyungu was aware that I was not present throughout her lecture.

Skipping classes was such a normal and we’d get into trouble a few times, but all in all, I did not like classes. I guess I grew up, I loved reading more and more when it was not forced down my throat and I appreciate every book that ends up in my hands. Where were we … Oh, so I have always been in a bit of a hurry, I talked before I had teeth kind of a hurry. Growing up might have been a process, but I was one step ahead at all times; my parents always mentioned this and expressed how they never really understood why I was always up and ready to go. Patience has never been my thing, whether it was because I was a bubbly kid or because I was quick to act. I have learned to speak less and listen more, act last and think first. Call it growing up if you may.

I was keen to listen to how majority of the persons around me expressed their opinions concerning the increased sexual and/ or gender based violence cases that seemed to be happening all of a sudden out of nowhere. But this is the thing, they were never out of nowhere; it is only that some of them got national attention due to the level of gruesomeness they were committed. It was no longer hush hush. I will not comment on the cases because this was not really my take home, nor was this the reason I wrote this piece today; but I will say that it took everything in me not to erupt like I would as a young person growing up. I was disappointed over and over again and while I did blow up on one occasion after being insulted, I learnt to let it go, I learnt to hold it in, I learnt to reserve my comments and energy for conversations that would change the world. You see, this is when I learnt that not everyone who comments is ignorant, no no. A lot of people said such demeaning things for the sake of it, for attention and because they have the freedom of speech, expression and opinion.

Rome was not build in a day and change will not happen in one either. I learnt to breathe. Social media has taught me a lot, patience included. I have learnt to participate in conversations that appreciate difference in a respectful manner and avoid those that do not. I have accepted that removing myself from such disrespectful circles is peaceful and much easier than picking a fight online. Slowly, I have learnt to hit that unsubscribe, that unfollow and that unfriend button. I have learnt that my voice is a powerful tool and that while some situations require my fierce persona, some require that calm and centered woman within me. I have learnt that choosing which woman handles which situation is more powerful. Look, you’re still here, you’re still reading what I have to say, and this is me using my voice too!

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  1. Haha! It could, as well, have been written by him, so many people had the same thoughts, and I am…

  2. Thank you! I am kinda sad that we were unable to keep writing for such a long time. However, we…

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