I am the first born child to two brilliant parents. You would, as a result, expect brilliance to simply shine through the pores of my radiant skin but that is not the case. I have a theory that my acne is hindering the escape of my brilliance and instead I’m forced to meander in my home, school, country and this world in search of the trigger that will free me from my horrible ineptitude and propel me into my phase of brilliance. But then again it’s just a theory I have.
Nope. I’m still waiting for my brilliance. Come on doctor ??
The Formative Years !
Let me regale you with instances of my awesome childhood, or as I would like to call it : The Formative Years! My childhood years were an amalgamation of delight, despondency and exhilaration bundled into a single collative : FUN . I grew up in a wonderful suburban area in Harare called Warren Park for the first few years of my life. I really loved living in Warren Park. There was always such a great feeling of community. Everybody was so close to one another, not only because of the proximity of our houses, but also because people genuinely meant it when they asked you how you were, not merely as a means to initiate awkward conversation with awkward neighbors.
I distinctly remember the orange-red clay that would spoil all my white/cream/or any colour close to white clothing and often result in me getting disciplined by my mother for increasing her washing load and for being the filthiest girl in the entire street. My best friend was the son of my mother’s best friend. We were as thick as thieves and were often caught persuading the other to do something typically toddler like and inevitably naughty. The amount of times that we found ourselves being shouted at for despondency was innumerable.
I recall street fighting at some stage of my life( my nickname was “Feisty”- I was a notorious fighter and I protected my friends very fiercely) . Nobody gave me any
crap nonsense because I was dangerous ( as dangerous as a little girl with dreadlocks in pigtails can be) . I have been street wise for as long as I can remember (picture a tiny pig-tailed girl roaming the streets of Warren Park : armed and dangerous with her limited edition barbie !). Since a very young age, I felt the urge to protect myself against any harm that might come my way. That meant boxing the ears of any boy that tried to kiss me or touch my bum (god forbid they try that!) or try to eat my lunch.
We relocated to Glenview 4 ( another suburb in Harare) and that is when the confused malady that is my life began. I fell in love. At the age of five, I believed that I had found my one true soul mate ; the television set. My best friend, Lisa, and I often snuck into the house of our next door neighbour to watch television on their twenty-eight inch television set. We disappeared for hours on end as we explored the eccentric world of Nollywood ( the notorious Nigerian Movie Industry). This was to be our little secret that we would enjoy whenever we desired it. Sadly, this secret did not last longer than a few movie trips as we were soon discovered. Lisa’s brother was sent to look for us one day when we disappeared on our Nollywood jaunt. When he did not find us , he instilled the help of his older brother to look for us as well. Their combined effort rendered them helpless after three hours ( Nigerian movies are often two hours long with never-ending sequels that one always feels the compelled to watch ; so you can literally spend an entire day watching the same sub-plot ).
They then decided to enlist the help of our mothers (bad, bad, bad, bad idea!) They found us in a matter of minutes and we were forced to evacuate our Nollywood haven, shame-facedly, with the promise of impending discipline at home. My parents decided that it would not do for me to be sneaking off to the homes of others in pursuit of entertainment and invested in a television set for our home. I was ecstatic; Nollywood on demand!
I was aced preschool. I was queen bee, in charge of everything and I was also the very first girl to have a boyfriend!( Cue scandalized expressions) .Let me briefly educate you on the ins and outs of preschool dating.
You basically choose a boy or girl that you think :
a) has the prettiest/coolest bag b) can colour inside the lines c)has the smartest looking clothes and d) has the nicest lunch. My preschool boyfriend, his name I cannot recall (gasp), had options C and D working in his favour.
We shared our lunches and often protected each other during games such as “tag, you’re it “: I was always the protector! We broke up after graduation when we discovered that we were going to different primary schools. It was a mutual break up : we decided that we could not possibly handle the complications of a long distance relationship ( he lived in Glenview 2). I was very satisfied and proud of myself for displaying such a virtuous quality: sensibility.
I assumed that it could not get any worse than preschool but boy oh boy was I wrong! Primary school brought with it a whole new set of challenges! I HAD TO SHAVE MY BEAUTIFUL CURLY HAIR OFF AND LOOK LIKE A BOY! I remember complaining to my mother . I cried profusely when they took my portrait and my eyes, in my first grade portrait, appear red and puffy.
Everything was suddenly a competition in primary school :who ran the fastest, who sang the best but most importantly, who was the cleverest. We had a grade rating system, ranging from the number one until the number of people in our grade. It was a nerve-wracking experience, waiting to hear if your name was going to be called last when they presented the top ten. I was always lucky to have come in the top five and occupied the number one spot occasionally! I thrived in this environment.
Then came the news that my mother was pregnant. I was dumbfounded. At the age of 7, they wanted me to be content with yet another sibling in the house. I felt as though life had dealt me a cruel hand because now all the attention would be focused on this intrusive newcomer, instead of me. . . and my sister, of course. My parents had often threatened to send me “kumusha” if I misbehaved and I felt as though with the arrival of this new baby, they would surely send me off in a bus towards rural Chivu to live with my incredibly strict grandmother.
However, my fears were quelled by my parents who assured me that I would not be bussed away from home ! So I decided to embrace this newcomer into the family. In fact, I felt it my duty to make sure he became well integrated in the family dynamics. When he finally arrived, I was a little bit disappointed. He was so small and only wanted to sleeep all day. I couldn’t wait for him to grow up so we could go on adventures . I would show him all the cool spots, as I had with my little sister Tatenda and help him make friends at his school !
I got over my disappointed and life continued on as normal soon after. Until . . .
Lots Of Lily Love ❤ ( LOLL)