OF BOYS AND MEN

I miss those days as a boy when holiday was holiday. I mean, if you made your own jerrycan pickup/lorry, built a house on a tree, played cha mama cha baba in the bushes, fished tadpoles and of course went swimming in the river when you had been told not to, then you know what am speaking about. Oh by the way, did you trap birds using basins? That is what am speaking about. Those days.

Today, such things don’t exist, at least from where I come from. All I see is young boys sitting infront of a tv screen, spending a lot of time on the social media and well, being sent to holiday tuition joints even though Matiang’i is against it. I see boys who are not boys, but are somewhere in the middle.

Growing up as a village boy, I knew there were some things boys did and could not do. Since I come from a true African family, by this I mean a large one, we used to look forward to family meetings where as boys we would be taught how to slaughter a goat or any other animal and spend evenings with our grandfather as he enlightened us on manliness.

Turning from a boy to a man was something mystical. There were so many stories as a boy you heard of that made one really want to be a man. To cross over and see what it’s like. Those who crossed to the other side stopped associating with you and changed completely. What made them change? There was something manly about them that no one could dispute.

Being a father was also something else. You became an elder and you had to change your behaviors. Did you ever hear of something like soda ya wazee? They had their own cups, plates and spoons, not to mention chairs. They also carried themselves with what is called Nyathi or honor. Never did I see my fathers and by fathers I mean anyone old enough to be called a father go to the honorable room. This was a top secret mission.

Well, those were the days. Today……