The struggle to be real

I struggle with many things in life. Being an African and having been shipped off to boarding school at barely 10 years because, “I requested”, I know the struggle. I come from the struggle. I’m not talking about the struggle of wearing the same pair of shoes for four schooling years because your mum knew the science of feet. I’m talking about the struggle of waking up at 5 to go to class only to sleep for the rest of the day.

The struggle isn’t limited to young, good looking, semi-poor gentlemen like me and a handful of other lucky souls. I’d like to write a long post but this is targeted so I can’t go too deep into a monologue without losing myself in it. I’ve written about identity and I don’t think I’ll go back into clarifying or further breaking down what my interpretation of identity is.

Every now and then I see my fellow countrymen proudly represent the nation at global events. How proud I’m I? Usually, just proud enough to mention it to every stranger I meet. The thing is, there’s a very big difference between where I come from and other countries from my continent. Which country does this bowl of life hail from?

I emanate from the bully of countries. My country is the kid that makes every kid jump rope and lift weights during Physical Education just because they can hold their pee in during tight situations. My country has terrorized nations globally, regardless of race or gender. Only kids are spared. I come from the country that runs things. And no, I am not American. Americans, sprint. My land is Kenya.

Well, I’m very proud of my nationality as a Kenyan as much as I have received offers from different nations to switch my allegiance and share some of my brilliance. Most countries in Africa, at least the ones I’ve seen at global events, have an identity.

The identities come in different forms; accents, the size of noses, missing necks, attires and other funny things. In high school we had students from all over the country. This meant we had diverse accents all over the place. I laughed my head off first time I heard a Somali guy pronounce pause as “Bawse”, like Rick Ross would. I did that continually for four years.

Was it cold? Very. I was immature but would still laugh even if I heard it today. What I liked about the guy is that our laughter got under his skin but he didn’t try to pretend to be something he wasn’t. After high school, I came across people I went to school with in earlier years. Some however, wow. Well, let’s just say some were probably rehearsing for slots on MTV or TLC.

People who’d for the longest while struggle when pronouncing parallelogram, would now even camouflage some words. Why? I’m still conducting a qualitative study on that so I don’t understand. Girls that would say hi to you in slang now can barely speak Swahili. We all have our insecurities. For a long while I never rocked shorts going anywhere. I didn’t hate my legs but you couldn’t call them steady when I was younger.

I spend the better part of my day online so I see a lot. I see girls posting photos in panties and captioning it, ‘God created me wonderfully. Motivation 101%.’ Moments later, she (not you) puts up a post whining about how guys are insensitive about other people’s posts and goes on to rant about it. One, I’m not a proponent of cyber bullying. Never have been and never will be. I’m equally not a proponent of false praise.

Whenever you put something online, you have one intention, for the communication to reach people. You may not have pictured the response you get but you obviously expected a response. You need self confidence to be able to get through most things in life. Self confidence means, accepting your struggle. I know I’m skinny and have embraced that fully. Ok, I still try to gain weight by eating regularly and putting pressure on the weighing machine every time I weigh in but I’m comfortable.

Life has always been unfair. Look at Esau who was swindled off his blessing for soup and bread. Soup and bread! It was probably some watery soup with carrots, peas, slices of cabbage, potatoes and French beans. That’s what made Esau lose his intended inheritance. Soup Njeri.

Likewise, we can’t all look good, be rich, be intelligent and all those nice things that go well with a nice cube and a stout glass. If you’re ugly, embrace that ugliness. How many times did a monster lay a damsel in history? Beauty and the beast, Red Riding Hood and the wolf (not of wallstreet), Snow White and the Dwarves, T.I and Tiny and so on.

It’s all about knowing equality is fictional and we all have our individual struggles that other people seem to breeze across. We all want that girl whose hair always seems to be blown by the wind because even the gods are cat calling her but someone has to take up the Fantasias as well. All guys can’t be Crisitianos or Beckhams, the Riberys and Robbens have to have some fun too.

Your identity is the most important aspect to you. You may put on layers of make-up or borrow an accent from you bougie friends but you can’t lie to yourself. Ok, you can if you convince yourself for a long time but then again that’s confusing your mind. Some of your grandmothers can’t even recognize you because of syndicate content.

I won’t ask anyone I know to drop a fake accent or wash off that make-up their cousin  from the States bought for them at a thrift shop. Some live by the mantra, ‘Fake it till you make it’. I live by be yourself. You will never please everybody. Girls will like you for those corny jokes if they want. Guys will like you with that hair that can barely tie a goat tail because a pony tail is a fantasy. Just be yourself. The only time you can blame other people is when they miss out on your awe.

The inner you probably doesn't know the outer you
The inner you probably doesn’t know the outer you

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