Category Archives: gender

Growing up a lady

I grew up in the countryside
And was raised just like any other child in the village
I remember being woken up very early every morning,
Even if we had nothing to do
Children were not to be lazy
So we had to find things to do
Run in the dewy grasses; play with any of the farm animals that had now become pets
Many times we went to the shamba boys hut
He always lit a fire that we would gather around
He had the sweetest stories
ARNEST was his name…later I learnt in English it pronounced Ernest
He was from Uganda
He told us stories of the cannibals of Uganda
He said never to eat meat in a Ugandan house
And he swore he wasn’t one of them
For these stories, I would pay be young again..
I have a little girl
Nine months and her whole life ahead of her
If I lived in a farm now
Would I let her go for fireplace stories?
In this country at this time
I cannot answer that question
How about hide and seek, up in the trees, and deep in the Napier grass
Together with boys and girls her age
I cannot answer that question
I cannot carry her with me in a sling bag until she is 18
I cannot build a wall around her
I cannot let her be an island
But it scares me to death to let her grow
How do I let her grow?
In this age, this time, these horrors,
But I grew up in the countryside
No TV, no computer games, no movies
Just sheep, goats, maize, rabbits…
And what did they teach us? . Love, just love and more love
That one question I can answer

By Terryanne Chebet