Illustration by Beuattah
Article By Ess Waceke ( 21STARS)
I did not grow up in a normal environment.
I discovered that when I went to university (God bless my aunt’s pocket)
My stories always pulled a crowd. Some laughed, cried and others, wished I wouldn’t tell them the story.
Kwetu mlango hauwachiwi wazi kiholela holela hata slippers zinaenda hiyo shilingi moja wakiuza they can get “unga” nayo
We used to peg our curtains ndio tusichuguliwe through the window,a skill that we had to master from a young age
I had no idea what usiku mtulivu or kulala fofofo means because shouts of “wezi mwizi wezi” and gunshots were our alarm clock.
The Mosque’s call for prayer was our security alert.
” Wanakuja kutoka kwa akina Gloria wamebeba silaha Wamama fungeni mlango ombeni wazee watoke”
Our fathers tied white handkerchiefs on their hands and had to act like sungusungu
I knew schools lasted a month those extra months nilisikia na nyinyi they raided our schools and sometimes our mothers would take us to school and wait for us till siku iishe
We were used to death and rape cases. They happened so often that they became “normal”
We were never allowed to watch news or any live coverage in our black and white TV.
” Only public celebration zile za speeches hakuna “
” sisi tunasuffer hivi and hawatumi msaada eh”
” Mbona tuliamka kuvote sasa”
” Baba Ali and his Family were killed at daytime and police did not do any investigation as they promised”.
Mishapa za my dad zilikuwa zinajichora and anageuka red juu ya hasira
It was a taboo to wear gold earrings chains bangili hata the coated kubeba simu hivihivi juu they would snatch it
We never renovated the outside of our house “juu nyumba mzee haina pesa” so they could not break into
My sister had stomach problems because of the water that we drank and going to the hospital was a no because there was no medication.My mother would boil water and salt to cure the pain
We used to brag about our parents’ scars, the more the scars interesting stories to narrate
Got older and I realised alaar you guys live well huku nje
security muko nayo
three months in schools
Kuna cabro and Lami uko kwenu
Mosque huwa zinasali and munaenda anytime hata 3am
Fresh and clean water
Munabeba simu kiholela holela
Munaweza lala bila heavy curtains just sheers.
You have electricity siku mzima!
I also had so many questions.
Why do they do this?
Is it because jasho ya mtu mwingine huwa tamu
Is it the high cost of living?
Is it because tumefika mwisho
Is it because our leaders don’t provide the opportunities that they hype about wakiwa campaign mood?
Kwanza Where are the people that we elected.
Do we deserve what we go through, yet we vote for change
They only come to us time ya campaign hata watakanyaga matope,sewage and promise us Dubai only to go and rule in different countries counties and not give a damn about us
They table tu weird motion uko bunge and only think about tumbo zao
Waizi wa kwao steal money,wakwetu,juu hatuna,wao hutumaliza
I see my leader time ya ” msogamano wa magari hapo bridge ” juu ako allergic to it and kingori yake hupewa priority than ile ya ambulance.
Nothing will ever change.
I probably will bring up my kids in this environment