"The Youth has no tribe."
(damn, what a statement
-one amongst many this week-
As his usual, he was on a roll.)
Kamau, you see..is one of those weird friends we all have. One of those friends we look forward to seeing just to hear them speak. His wisdom and whole personality in general tends to amaze me everyday, more so because of his 'shape shifter' nature.
This guy can be anything or anyone, anywhere, anytime.
I find it quite impressive and beautiful to find someone that truly knows themselves; their purpose and destination in this thing called life. Mostly because as both an artist and individual, I've had major struggles with finding myself in this fast-technology-run modern times we are faced with. Life had to slap me around a couple of few times just to get me going in the right direction.
As for Kamau? I don't think I've ever seen him struggle with any of this.
It's as if there is a bubble, but he's not the one inside it. We are. And he's standing over the rest of us, observing us (the world), like a little boy watching his ants crawl around enclosed glass.
We're all just running around, bumping into each other, confused and tired, except for Kamau. He's just sitting there, away from the noise and rush, watching.. watching us all.
(let's get back to the beginning)
As an African, it is a beautiful thing to be able to speak one's mother tongue. Unfortunately, I didn't always know this. Like any typical ignorant and rebellious child, I grew up trying to get away from all that. My worries were wayyy bigger than the significance and importance of my people's culture;
I had to score myself the new kicks, work on my wardrobe, learn all the new lyrics, blah blah blah.. and so on..
So 5..10 years later, here I am.
Don't get me wrong. I do understand it, I do.
I just can't speak as well as I’d like to..plus my efforts to learn the language as an adult has led to even more frustrations. Perhaps my opportunity has passed? but I shall stay hopeful
So what has this got do with Kamau?
What has this got to do with Kamau? Everything, I suppose.
(He's the reason I began to write this article in the first place)
A few days ago, I encountered major embarrassment but was lucky enough to have Kamau witness it all.
Two girls unassumingly sit next to me and begin to converse with each other in Kikuyu tongue. Being a half tribe, I understand the words well enough. They are chatting on about a woman in their local church and her funny showing off tendencies.
It's hilarious. So as expected, I begin to laugh and laugh until..
one of the girls begins to speak directly to me, she's waiting for me to respond.
My stammering immediately catches her attention and she can tell that I don't know what to say
She turns back to her friend and cracks a joke about my 'urban attitude' and goes back to her previous tale.
I walk off to class, nervously laughing. Kamau is right behind me.
I am offended. I really am.
Kamau knows this, he knows everything.
I begin to complain to him about it but he cuts me short, looks me dead in the eye and says,
“It doesn't matter much, I don't even now why you're so stressed about it.
The Youth has no tribe."
I ask him what he means by that. This is usual Kamau, he's about to teach me one of his weird valuable life lessons. I sit up from my chair and urge him to explain his logic.
He does so, and I'm impressed.
So young, yet so wise.
How he manages to turn every gloomy and dull situation into a mindful yet fun and empowering conversation is beyond me.
According to Kamau (who always seems to find a silver lining to everything), perhaps it isn't so bad for the modern youth to have faded away from their parent's and grandparent's cultures. He tells me not to beat myself up about it.
The way he sees it, it' might be one of the many solutions towards uniting our divided country; uniting each individual without bi-as as to which tribe one is from. He explains that maybe that way, we might see each other as people and not as members of a certain tribe.. that maybe for once as a country, we will choose leaders based on what change they are to implement and not because of their last names or what region they're from. He says that only the youth can save the universe from itself..
And that youth together with change, are both beautiful gifts that we should all embrace instead of fighting against the tide.
A tide that's coming, and coming fast.
He also tells me to take life a bit easier for the sake of both my blood pressure and his.
(What weird friends I have)
Kamau, the humanist. I look forward to seeing him next week.