I remember vividly that day
As i sat between mama’s thighs
It was sunday and so my cornrows had to be made
I was the class captain, I had to be in top top shape
“Mama, I want to rant” 10 year old me had said. I used that word every opportunity I got ever since I learned it
And so I ranted, I ranted about how I wanted to be rich and successful, how I never wanted to struggle, how I was made to be pampered and never to sweat. I ranted about how the hood life wasn’t for me and how i was destined for luxury.
When i was done, Mama laughed, that laugh she laughed when she found it funny but not really. Mama then said “Ade mi, I hear you, but remember, do not despise the days of little beginnings”
At that statement I almost hissed, but the fear of mama’s dunlop was the beginning of wisdom.
Little beginnings, It sounded strange “Mama, explain” I said. And that day I learnt a lot.
Little beginnings were the days of next to naught. The days of struggle and painful contest. Little beginnings were the hungry days, the angry days, the stressful days. Little beginnings were the days that you toiled earnestly hoping there was a light at the end of a tunnel somewhere. You weren’t even sure. “Do you understand”, she asked
How am I supposed to like those days I wondered as I mumbled a strained yes to mama. That day I think Mama knew I wasn’t confused but she left me to my own thoughts and devices.
10 years past and I still do not understand, I still am not convinced. What little beginnings? As I sit in the backseat of mama’s car and watch people trekking, I am even more discouraged. As I stop to buy food and I see people begging, I am even more dissuaded. I see labourers with cement filled pans on their heads and I almost feel the pain.
“There”, mama says “those are little beginnings”. She must have seen my expression. “I know that you never understood it, do you get it now” I muttered a strained yes ma.
But what I really wanted to day was, “I always understood it mama, I always knew what it meant. What I didn’t understand was how you could like it. How could you not despise it when there was everything to despise about it?”