It has been 11 years since my last real physical fight. Beaten and humbled by my short classmate, it was my first taste of falling short of the glory of God. My crush was watching and so were my mates. Shame, fear, lack of confidence, humility…these were my new software updates courtesy of Collins Okiring. Thrice that day, he had successfully remodeled me from Babito the Popular, Egocentric Tall guy, to Babito, just a tall chicken. He shitted and pissed on my reputation on broad daylight with an invited audience to witness.
While the discipline he instilled in me lasted this long, thinking of it now, I would rather take his beating every single day for the 11 years than endure the invisible wars within me throughout that time. Yeah, that is right! In fact, an asteroid hitting earth or a virus ending it is less scary than having a war within. Welcome to my brain.
Think of the war this way, it is like someone forcing one end of a sizeable rope into your guts and waits for your stomach to start digesting it and pulls it out. Don’t imagine it but just think about it.
Let’s take a step back from the world and just watch it for a moment. How real is it? It is a decoy, isn’t it? We are living in a big bubble hallucinating from a societal drug called norm and culture. I wonder how much of our values, beliefs, likes and dislikes have been programmed on us as robots. Our parents decided our educational background, society pushed us to a certain profession while our peers most definitely influenced our marital and parental status. ‘This is how we do things’ and ‘look at your age mates’ has probably broken so many people and killed so many inventions.
I ask myself, ‘Do I have the courage to walk away from the responsibility of the old image of me people have in their minds?’ And now I ask you, why must African men shave off the hair as a show of formality and good behavior while their counterparts from other races keep their hair?
The infamous Miguna Miguna through one of his recent tweets has an answer for you, ‘The REASON why African men shave off their hair bald is due to historical hatred of the KINKY African hair. Exactly the same lack of self-esteem and worth that informs the wearing of the wigs (hair of dead white, Asian or Chinese people or artificial ones) and bleaching of the skin’ So harsh, yet so true.
So it is okay for an American preacher to wear tattoos but evil for an African Christian to do so. Not that I want to have tattoos, but what’s up with the inconsistency? It’s hard to believe King David was a murderer and adulterer, and Paul Aka Saul was an assassin when a lady getting pregnant out of wedlock earns her automatic expulsion from the church.
Why do we accord so much attention to impressions? We write this person off immediately. Before we know anything beyond what our eyes tell us, before they speak one word, we think there is no way we could tolerate this guy/girl, let alone socialize. We lump them into a certain unlikable type, and maybe they in turn, place us into a derogatory category.
People are always keen to make good first impressions, but as I am learning, I would prefer a bad first impression. With this, there are no expectations. If you kill someone, they will not judge you but if you baptize one they might actually worship you. A good first impression is weighty, rounded off by the popular ‘Kumbe anakuanga hivi’ tagline when you don’t meet it.
I like this from Douglas Coupland;
Brain research tells us that only twenty percent of human beings have a sense of irony, which means that eighty percent of the world takes everything at face value.
So cheers to meeting the highest version of myself: I first have to shed the guilt that slows the unraveling and exploration of finding out who I am. I can’t be feeling bad about wanting to reshape who I am and change my ways. I want to learn to forgive myself the way I forgive others. Tough times do last. Tough people don’t last, always.