a child’s memory

I am walking to work, rather to go catch the next matatu, so as i am walking, there is some slight drizzling happening and you can see the adults trying to shelter themselves,while avoiding puddles of water or mad. The ladies more concerned about their hair getting wet than anything else hence covering their heads with whatever they can while trying to seek shelter along buildings.In all this carefulness, i approach two young boys,say 4 and 5 and they unlike the rest of us are on top of the world as they walk into the puddle of water outside their,i assume parent’s shop and they are all smiles.To them its fun,dipping their feet in the rain water.They do not care if it’s clean or not,it is fun for them and that is all that matters.when was the last time you enjoyed walking in the rain?

That few seconds scene brought back memories of my own.Took me back to the same ages,around four or five,when all that mattered to me was playing.What would be a cause of stress for me was being denied the chance to go out and play.That was torture likened to what Jack Bauer went through in China in 24 season something.lol.But that to me was the greatest punishment ever;inability to play.I would wake up early purposely to go out and play;to be precise,by eight o’clock in the morning,i was all dressed in shorts and a t-shirt,breakfast already gulped down ready for the day.I did not care about anything other than playing,not even how i looked,what did it matter?now,i am an african and we have what we call kinky hair,that needs to be blow dried,if a comb is to survive through it!Up to when I was 10, 11 years,my hair was my mother’s and older sister’s responsibility.They were the ones to say when I was to be braided,by actually taking me to the salon.They decided when to un braid,i really cared nothing for it and my mother had to ‘bribe’ me (and we wonder why Kenya is corrupt)with french fries and a soda,for me to sit still at the salon because to me it was unnecessary pain!That may be one of the reasons why one day,one minute i had my long hair and the next I was shaven!

This one time,i was 10years old and mama had told me to undo my hair.I was not amused but I got a few of my friends to help me and within no time it was all done.Now,I did not bother to comb it;i knew it would be painful and i was not about to take myself through that and there was a game awaiting me.So,i went out to join my friends in playing,undone,uncombed hair.Not a pretty site I can tell you and when mama came home and saw me playing with my hair like that,i was called to go home and i was ever so mad!I mean,i was in the middle of the game.So I went and was really impatient and after a short lecture,mama asked me to choose,either i go to the salon or visit the barber.I did have long hair,but the thought of going through the motions of the salon while there was a game on going just did not sit well with me.Mark you,it was not the end of the world.Tomorrow would still be another day but i think that is one of the reasons children have a happy life,they only live for no;today and that was me.in my head i was just thinking,if i go to the salon,i will be late and the game would be over so without much further thought,i told my mama that i would go to the barber’s.My brothers always took 20 or so minutes.I could spare that.Mama was in shock and asking me if i was sure and it so happened that sister dearest also had short hair at the time and she was (and still is) one of my role models,and so i figured it was not such a bad thing.I think it really pained my mama as she took a pair of scissors and cut my hair (to make it easier for the barber)that’s what she said.I rushed to the barber shop and my l had a new style.Going back to the play ground,my friends halted the game for a while in shock.Now you see the hair,now you don’t.I wasn’t bothered much and i asked them to go back to playing and that was that!Thank God for the small attention span of children,at least back in the day…..

A smile is on my face.Those were good times.Good memories.And so now I sit back and wonder,what happened to that care free,free spirited girl,who didn’t really care about much other than being happy? Well, growing up happened and stress and long faces and what will he/she think thoughts,took over….Sadly.



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