Growing up was not a bed of roses. In fact it was as tough as they come. ‘Work hard and make your own butter’ is what they used to tell some us, hell, most primary school motto was hard work pays (pssssssss!). Not like making butter was our main goal in life or that we even paid attention to such. Living in the ghetto is no easy task. Fights broke out almost every day, people bleed for everything. Ranging from territory to girlfriends to small pettifoggery and such. From the young to the old, even ladies fought for something (mostly men). It was a perfect real life way of saying survival for the fittest. Everyone was ready and able to fight, or go down honorably. I wasn’t ready to lose a fight if it came to that so when I heard that freshmen were being recruited for karate classes, you bet your ass I was the first to join. Every 4 o’clock we’d meet up, punch the air, make some really scary noises or shouts (I don’t know which it was), did a lot of pushups which left us weak and finally, the good part, seek a worthy adversary to ‘ngara nayo’. Most of us gave up after some time, I was the first. Long story paragraphed, inasmuch as it was a real bitch of a life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I was going home the other day. It was late and dark, people had retired to bed or bar. See I fear very few things, meeting Mia Khalifa , death by cockroaches (if you’ve watched the mummy you’ll get the picture. Not the latest mummy remake by Tom Cruise, I’m talking about the real mummy, the bald dude who opens his mouth and cockroaches come out…) I’m still working on my other fears. Anyway there were footsteps behind me and darn was my heart racing so fast. The footsteps increased in tempo successively as I tried to look scared whilst terrified. I wanted to look back but, hey you don’t wanna spook them, you don’t want them to know you’re onto them. So I kept it cool and tried whistling a hum under my breath and change my walking style. At this time I’m trying very hard to recall my karate class lesson and the dangerous shouts. I’m pretty sure if Mr. Oketch saw me right then, he’d be very disappointed. I ran every scenario in my head and decide that if I was going down, I was taking a tooth with me. Part of me wanted to run but you know…
I stopped right ahead and was ready to fight. Imagine my shock when a small kid came walking towards me. I bet she was eight or something. She reached near me and looked at me with the most grateful eyes ever. She was scared but glad to see me. And I was terrified. And was ready to punch her nose. She didn’t talk to me but her eyes did. So I walked behind her till she reached her place then I went my way.
Fear is a great thing. A weapon? I don’t know, maybe. But one thing is for sure, fear keeps us going. Most people think being brave is everything. Being macho is some sought of high pedestal. But I found a new pedestal. Its fear driven. Picture this, if one doesn’t want to fail, in studies, in life…they prepare. They read and stuff like that. So fear of failure makes one read which in turn makes them not fail (most cases). Fear of death makes one take care of themselves. Back in form one, there was this tall guy, Weba, he was a fourth year and very scary. I didn’t want to get on his bad side ever. I once saw him slap someone so hard the whole class went silent, the boy didn’t even squeeze a tear or two. He just stood there absentmindedly. So when Weba came one time and asked me to buy him a mandazi, I bought him four. When he came looking for a calculator I ran to him with one (I never got it back until he sat his papers). I feared him so much I didn’t want his anger near me. So I made it my business to provide. Big picture, with all those deeds, I bought my protection. No fourth year ever bullied of harass me. Not that Weba even knew my name, being seen with him was all it took. Point is, my fear for him got me protection! So fear is good.
It’s been a while since I wrote something so I thought I scribble this and tell you about fear. Tell you that fear is allowed. That if you tried bravery and it never worked, it’s about time you feared something. Right? Good answer.
For those asking, I’m ok. Nothing bad happened to me. As to why I’ve been missing in action, well I don’t really have a good answer for that. I’ll try make an effort to do something for this blog at least once a week. Thanks for the support.