This Thing, Youth

I should probably start by saying; I have no idea what I’m doing.


I have a habit of starting new things out of rage. Okay, no. Frustration. Yeah, let’s call it frustration. Rage is that ugly thing that makes a woman slash the tires of her 37 year old boyfriend who happens to have a wife, three legitimate kids (no telling about the rest) and a desperate case of midlife crisis, because he missed their weekend getaway to Sarova Somewhere upon realizing that it was his daughter’s prayer day and he had no idea she was already in primary school. No, I’m just a little upset. The last time frustration started eating away at whatever has accumulated inside of me in these years I’ve lived, I started writing about the life and times of a school prefect. Yeah, I am an emotional creature, sue me. It’s a good read, by the way. No, not that piece of not-so-good literature that I embarked on after I had had up to here*hand held high above my head* with the administration of my high school and their silly ideas that never worked. God, no. I’m talking about ‘I am an Emotional Creature’. Now that’s good literature. Makes you feel angry and peaceful and empowered and helpless at the same time. Like a good book should.

Anyway, so frustration fuels me. And the latest cause of this uncomfortable emotion is … I don’t know. Just everything. I am young. I won’t say how young, I’m told ladies don’t disclose their ages…

I am 19. Yeah, I realized that I’m not exactly all prim and proper like the genteel feelings that word evokes inside me so out with it already. So I am young enough to be looked down upon because of my youth…still trying to set an example for the believers in life, in love, in faith, in purity…I forget how the rest of the verse goes. And yes, that means I am Christian. I just saw in my head several people leave the room that my mind is currently in and several others sit up straighter. This is good.

Back to my frustrations. I am at that age where my life is supposed to revolve around…nothing really. I just left high school the other day. Well, to my parents and everyone who watched VOK, it is just the other day. To the rest of us who only know about maziwa ya nyayo from history textbooks, it may as well be six decades ago. I daresay this is a very boring period for me. I have been relegated to a life of docility where the most energy being expended is in movement from my room to the fridge downstairs. Or possibly arguing with the parents. I can feel my brain cells dying, I kid you not. A slow boring death. Everyone knows that boring deaths are the worst. Honestly, I don’t know what a boring death is. It just feels like that is what my brain is going through. Death by boredom. I hear it’s rampant around this age. What do you think is the real reason behind teenagers taking their parents cars out for a night spin only to end up wrapped around a tree? Exactly, boredom. Now here I am, wiling life away on novels and daydreams and the frequent lecture about my complete disinterest in the lot of the girl child; cooking and cleaning. Well, I’m sorry but the thrill of dicing onions and scrubbing bathtubs just doesn’t do much for me. I don’t think it’s as devastating as everyone is making it out to be. Don’t get me wrong, I get all that about learning basic skills like making ugali and cutting meat. I even sacrificed the lazy part of who I am to go learn how to cook all those things, because legend has it that I will be unceremoniously tossed out of my husband’s house the day he wants chapattis so soft they will not break but tear neatly when bitten, and I can’t deliver. I get it, I should be a feminist but still accept that a woman in my society can’t earn her stripes until she delivers at least two bouncing baby boys who will not grow up to be thieves and can cook for all her husband’s clan when they drop by unannounced to spend the next six weeks scrutinizing her wifery. I get it.

Okay, I lie. I don’t get it. I’m just trying to sound politically correct and unfortunately it’s not going down well with this my youthful disposition. I still don’t see why I’m under pressure to make adept my skills of running a household while my brothers lie down and watch television because that’s what men do. Well, women go to the spa and get full body massages after a day spent shopping. You don’t see me running off to Woolworths (okay, ngara sheesh!) to look for the latest design of crop tops and patterned tights. And while we’re on this, may I just say it especially riles me that everyone is all about gender equality when they all know that it’s a Sisyphean task even in their own households. But that’s just me. I’m only 19, what would I know.


**A point to note: This is a very old piece of writing. Two years old, to be precise. Why I have decided to put it here…I don’t know.**

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