By JJ Moriasi
When I see such extremely powerful images, I am struck with awe. I sit and stare. I take a moment to question and reflect. To question my adulthood and reflect on my childhood. I reminisce the days I was a kid. When I woke up and all I had in mind was to go and play with friends.
When I had no worries, no responsibilities, no difficult questions, nothing in my mind but innocence and love in my heart. When everyone was a person; not a boy, not a girl, not a lesbian, gay or transvestite.When everyone was a person and not from tribe A or B, not from country A or B.
When everyone was a person and not black, white, yellow or any other color. When my actions were humane and triggered by automatic reactions from the instincts of a pure heart rather than calculated thoughts from accumulated experiences. When crying was so natural a reaction of expressing oneself and not a show of weakness.
When a smile really meant I was happy, a laughter really meant I was exhilarated and when I cried I was truly hurt. When I had nothing to hide or fake. I was not afraid to be seen naked; I had nothing to be ashamed about. When my dad was a super hero and my mom super human.
When they were both able to answer all the questions I had and solve all my problems. When life was waking up in the morning to go and play. When night came I did not toss and turn in bed, I peacefully slept whatever place sleep found me. No long nights thinking of this and that. Life was beautiful, life was fun, life was playing with friends.
I have grown up.
I have become an adult. I have been told I am a boy and am not supposed to cry like a girl. That girls are weak. I am not supposed to do the very thing that I was living for; I am supposed to work hard and not play, because playing is a waste of time. I am from tribe A and different from tribe B. We hate tribe C because at a time in history they did this or that. We have boundaries that separated us from the people in country B, that were drew by the white man, and thus they are not our people.
The white man is superior to the black man. He has money, brains, a language and a culture worth adopting because ours is primitive. They have a better skin colour so we burn our own. Their hair is better, so my sisters burn theirs with chemicals or buy fake hair to try and look like them. I start seeing the cruelty in this world.
I ran back to my father who is supposed to protect me. Then I realize just like me, he has questions, he does not have all the answers in the world. He is also trying to find his way, its just that he had started the journey before me. I realize all the while, my mom was trying her best to keep me in her warm embrace so that I could not see how cold the world could get. I smile when I am sad and laugh when I am angry.
Girls cry to get their way and boys hide their tears to prove something that isn’t there. My actions never necessarily mean what they seem to be. I do not do things because they are necessarily right. I wake everyday thinking of work, avoiding family and friends to do my business. The older I grow the fewer friends I have the lonelier I became. I wake cursing the day and waiting for the night only to lie down, toss and turn trying to find sleep.
Then I look at the picture again with a lump in my neck. I was so pure, so innocent just like
the kids in the image. Smiling and playing happily every day, but all that has changed now, just because I have grown up. Then I wish I never did, I wish the kids will remain in that state forever. But that can’t happen. I am sad, I want a kid. But I don’t want them to grow up and realize how evil the world can be. I want them to remain as happy as I was when I was a kid. So I ask everyone out there, please letâ€™s make this place a better home for the generations to come.
To read more of JJ Moriasi’s articles visit his blog http://uturukini.blogspot.nl/
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