I started writing this article five days ago but right after I found my inspiration to start it, I lost my determination to finish it. Five days…It took me five days to come up with this piece. Not because it’s the most amazing thing you’re ever going to read in your life, there’s nothing really eccentric about it. Herein basically lies a story about a quest, not the overly adventurous Harry Potter or Django kind of quest no, just one girl’s simple quest to make the slightest difference in a tumultuous world. What transpired in between those five days really doesn’t matter. So I’ll tell you about the alpha and the omega. I’ll tell you about the first and the fifth day:
Day 1: I’m busy Occupying Parliament. I mean I’ve thought about very many things in my life I’ve imagined meeting Johnny Depp (like a thousand times), I’ve imagined sailing into the sunset with my pet penguin Horatio, I’ve even imagined getting away with naming my daughter Persephone, but never in my life had I imagined I would one day literally sit down on Uhuru Highway. Never .It’s been a very nice day on the whole, feeling all inspired and change-spirited .I'm part of the change, a revolution in progress. I’m glad. I get home decide to write about it, then ……….blank ……………..her highness goes blank after the first measly paragraph. Day 5:As part of the Nenkashe group, I visit Beloved Daughters Rescue Girls’ Centre in Olooshoibor which is behind Ngong hills. I meet two dozen or so girls aged between 7 – 17 who've been rescued from forced marriages, FGM or some of the hardest living conditions you could ever imagine. Very few things in life compare to the elation you feel when you see the smiles on these girls faces. The very fact that they have been rescued and given a second chance at life is enough. It’s not about the food they’re eating, or the clothes they’re wearing or their hairstyles. It’s simply about being grateful for the little that they have and the much that they've been given. I get home everything seems much clearer now; I bear witness to the fact that the dots make much more sense when you connect them backwards…. I write…
The aforementioned two days really had me thinking about my life, the kind of priorities I have, the sort of things that give me “joy”. When I’m not obsessing over how slow my laptop has become I’m busy musing over something or someone in my life that’s not going/doing too well. Time wears off a lot of things except OMO (which has constantly been new as far back as I can remember… New OMO Multi-Active, New OMO with catalyst, New OMO with super-secret-powers…trust me the list is endless) with time we discover new things, with time we progress .My time had finally come and just as I heard the fat lady in my head sing, I knew that my subliminal odyssey of ignorance and nonchalance had come to an abrupt end.
You know that feeling you have when you realize that, that smug conductor didn’t give you back your change. It’s a fusion of horror, anger and self blame. That’s exactly how I felt when I realized that I have never had to fight for anything in my life, everything I am today someone else fought for. This is what I mean, this is me; I’m independent in my own country, proudly African, pompously female, Christian, respectably educated, enlightened, aware, you name it.
They say the world is governed by the dead, that those who went before us determine how we shall live. Whether dead or alive my perception of others, their perception of me has basically been shaped by a man/woman who I will never get the chance to know or even thank.
For instance, today there are some things that I will do and some I will not do, cases in point:
I will not be forcefully placed in a concentration camp or forced to wear a Kipande because I’m not free in my own country. I will not be forced to till my own land for someone else. I will not be subjected to hard labour or inhuman treatment, because someone fought for my rights and for the very land I reside on. Someone else fought for my independence.
I will not be treated as less of a person because I am black. I will not be asked to stand up for a white person on a bus. I will not be eligible for only manual and low-key jobs because I am termed incompetent. I will demand for equal rights wherever I go.I can do this and everything else today simply because someone fought for racial equality.
I have never had to fight for my education; someone else did .Years before I was born someone fought for Africans to get equal and quality standards of education. Someone else fought for the girl child to go to school. All I’ve had to do was go to school that’s all. So for every morning I’ve woken up grumpy and gone to school, for every minute I’ve had to sit in a class and zone out ,for every exercise book I’ve jotted down something in and never bothered to reread ,I have never had to fight for
I come from a community which practices FGM. But I’ve never been forced to go through it I’ve only seen it in the news or read about it in the papers .My mother educated me, my mother’s mother educated her, my mother’s mother was educated by her mother, my daughter will never go through it because I am educated and I will in turn educate her. Why? Because someone fought for this practice to be abolished, someone fought for the people to be educated and for them to be enlightened; So I’ll read about in the papers, shake my head in grief and two minutes later get back to whatever I was doing because it’s okay I’ve never had to fight for it anyway.
I’m free to choose the person I want to marry and when I went to get married. No forced/early marriage for me. I will not be married off at age 9 or 10 or 11 or 12 to a man nearly five times my age, I’ll pursue my studies and my interests to the level which I desire and make a life for myself. Simply because someone fought for me to have the intrinsic right to make my own decisions.
A story is told of the Uganda Martyrs, Christian converts who were burned alive for their faith and their refusal to offer sacrifices to traditional gods in the historical kingdom of Buganda. Today I can pray anywhere I want, I can proclaim my Christianity and talk about my religion with the utmost magnanimity .I’m not ashamed of who I worship,I’m not afraid to worship,I’m not banished from any place because of my religion. I can stand smack in the middle of Uhuru Park and proclaim wrath and fire on anyone who doesn’t repent and give me a coin or two. No one will so much as flinch. Someone died for me to assert my religious opinions and not be in fear or find shame in doing so.
I could mention many more examples of things that I take for granted or things that to me seem so normal but a few years back were unheard of or possibly not even allowed. I appreciate that in many ways I have been blessed enough to be born into a time where things were ,for lack of a better word “easier”.But I also have to ask myself in what way am I making the life of someone else somewhere better regardless of whether I know them or not.
I may have faith to make mountains fall, I may have the brain to compute the most complex algorithms, I may have beauty that not even Aphrodite can match, I may have the strength of a thousand men or the wisdom of the days of yore and the days of Thor combined , but if I’m not using it to make an impact in someone else’s life then I probably have the same effect a candle has in the sun.
We all have problems, 7 billion people in this world and each person has their own little world which equals 7 billion more worlds. Man, that’s a lot of “worlds” to deal with. Does it help to always remember that there is someone somewhere praying for what you have, someone who has it worse than you? Yes it does…not all the time, but it does.
I’ve got two things in my hands, the kerosene and the desire; I’m desperately trying to light a flame within your minds. I hope that as I scribble down these thoughts and realizations, I speak not only for myself but for millions of people out there who just like me are in a comfort zone, so obsessed and stalwartly fixated on their little, little, little, little, little problems.
There’s a lot to live for and a lot more to fight for no matter how small, a cause is a cause…
“Through sunshine mornings and harrowing nights”
“They played their horns and they clamped their pipes”
“And when the winds of horror blew”
“They stood their ground and got blown off too”
“Their spirits live on at the same old spot”
“Where others come to dissent the rot”
“No matter how many times they get carried away”
“They keep on coming, they vow to stay”
“For they know that their might is the strongest of force”
“So look alive sunshine you’re a rebel with a cause.”
Good day people Ciao 🙂