How difficult can life be? I bet everyone has their own different story that will speak of life hardships. But have you ever thought that your problems could be nothing compared to what someone else is passing through? We all believe that our share of problems is something that someone else cannot survive. Think of the street kids, a pregnant woman who can barely afford a meal, a dying cancer patient that has lost all hope, do you realize that you are lucky to have even gotten the chance to read this piece?
When I was young, I used to think that my parents were just too hard on money matters. Most of the times I could not believe when my mother confidently told me she didn’t have money. The anger and frustration of thinking that she was denying me money had me question if she even loved me. Often, she would whisper, “you will at one point of your life understand all this” and I would right away ask her if she wished a hard life for me. Funny how we don’t need ‘I told you so’s’ from our parents because it would be so shaming that at one point they are the same people that help us out of a hard situation.
I had these two friends back in campus that had nothing to complain about. Talk about having new phones every semester, parents that gave them 5k for clothe shopping, their shopping bags overflowing with snacks and stuff and a lot more than the rich kid gets to enjoy. Comparatively, having a packet of Dettol was because my parent heard about skin infections, buying of snacks was a matter of choice between family home needs and a critical thing on the list. Who am I to say no to a box of biscuits and juice? Matters concerning getting a new hairdo ‘Potelea mbali’ as long as I could imagine sipping the juice through the party caps and devouring the biscuits into small digestible particles everything else could wait. Some of these choices look stupid to me right now, but the pressure that came with wanting to fit in surpassed the want for essential things.
One time I was having a chit-chat with a friend in a local restaurant around, discussing the way forward since exams were close but none of us had school fees and we needed it to sit for our papers. You could notice our head muscles strain from thinking too hard on where we could secure some cash. Often, we would consider sitting behind a desk and do online writing but the case here was different, we needed fast money, and time was running out. A few moments later, a middle-aged pregnant woman passed by the restaurant, she looked as if she had not showered for a number of days. This was understandable since she looked mentally challenged, she looked hungry and tired considering she had been walking for long from the look of her feet, flies swirling around her you could think she had pooped on herself. The restaurant waitresses could not wait to kick her out of the premise. She uttered, ‘dada, unaeza nisaidia na shilingi 20 nikunywe chai kwani sijapata kueka chochote mdomoni toka jana’ even after hearing all that they still kept on chasing her. Then it dawned on me that there are people outside here that are probably passing through a hard time and way more difficult life compared to my insignificant complain of lack of school fees.
Having only 50 shillings in my pocket, I decided to get her something to eat. The look on her face was priceless, and I would do anything to see anyone else wear that kind of look. I want to meet her again, not to give her a helping hand but to see if she is now better and if she gave birth to the angel she was carrying. People outside here are struggling with way more difficult things and every single day they walk around hoping to find a solution to whatever problem they are facing.
Struggles can define someone. But how do they define you? It all depends on what you do about them. Do you let them suffocate you or do you do something about them? A lot of us always have the chance to change our story but are too lazy to do something about it while there are those that are not privileged, so they look for handouts to save their situations. Struggles are not permanent but are always there to teach us how to survive the hardships of life (they are seasonal). Therefore, we should still be grateful of the few struggles we have in our lives because probably there is someone who struggles everyday and also struggles help us learn on how to deal with the next phase of trouble.
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