“There is only one race, the human race.” Robert Sobukwe.
I love jokes
Rahab and I just reconnected after quite a long time. I convincingly told her that I have 9 siblings, asserting that my mum is a biologically blessed woman on her own accord. I told her I have a daughter called Shanice, a task that I was so well prepared for that she believed. Cunningly, I told her that I have three shiny and dark beards that never grow tall, while practically, I only have one strand of short hair for beards. The sad thing is that it has been there for so long that I think it grew mistakenly. I am not the cool kid that loves Fetty Wap, 2 Chains, and Migos music, but if you asked me whether I love western pop, I can cook up a chorus and rap it like Cardi B.
Of course, that doesn’t come out nice. I am that type of guy. I love joking and telling people things that are probably not existent, and I love that fact. My mum thinks of me as a cheeky character who runs his literal world with a virtual system of ‘do not-take-it-too-seriously’. Of course, my stories are usually a collection of conspiracies blended with lessons from my own experiences and half-baked truths.
My open-minded baby sister
I have a baby sister called Kianna who lives in British Columbia. She is perhaps the prettiest girl I have ever seen. She has a characteristic smile and the kind of blonde natural hair you’d only see in Twilight Saga. She is kind-hearted, welcoming to strangers, and funny too. She is so open-minded that she can say to the chairperson in the board meeting, “Hey Sir, did you just fart? It was a strong and iconic fart by the way.”
When we have dinner, she doesn’t keep quiet if the Teriyaki rice doesn’t taste good. One day, she asked mum to vividly explain how she was born. She was quick to add that she wanted to know if it was easy or she had to be pushed out. She loves her space though and you can almost always find her in the bedroom. Her hospitable heart cannot be confused for a vulnerable one because she will never let you in.
However, she struggles with understanding why bad things happen, and that makes her sad.
Jean Claude Van Damme
I have met Jean Claude Van Damme. Not the American one who features in many action films but a Burundian guy who was marketing a sales company in Kenya. I feel sad for him because his is not a candid story. I met him one day on campus. He was knocking on doors in hostels to advertise and sell casual products such as toothpaste, knives, and facial products.
He told me that he had been deceived by a Burundian agent in Kenya, with promises of getting a decent job. After traveling to Kenya, he was made to walk into people’s doors selling products to survive. Although he was comical and outgoing (he made me buy a knife even when I had one), I felt sad about his story. We exchanged contacts and have been keeping in touch since then. His English accent isn’t compatible with mine, but we get along well. Jean is also teaching me some French, mon ami. He is truly an amazing Burundian.
Von somebody is the officer who ‘arrested’ me at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. I was passing through the metal detector machine when suddenly the beeping went off. I was astonished because I was sure I had no ECDs on me. In response, uniformed Von, with an automatic gun hugging his shoulder, told me to walk back. With another officer, they took me to a special room and had me turned inside out. The most interesting part of the encounter was that he was not the racist German I had been made to believe Germans are.
In fact, in the course of less than five minutes, we had known each other’s name. We laughed about how short my boxer was when he was screening my hair. He was polite and tried to speak a little English but with difficulties. When he found out that I was Kenyan, he joked that I must have a pet lion. When we eventually discovered that the beeping resulted from some headphone’s metal bit, we laughed about it and I promised to be careful in the future.
He patted my back and took me to the boarding area.
Cammie from USA
You see, back in high school, we went on a tour of the famous Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy (home to the last remaining Northern White Rhinos). It is here that I met Cammie from Wisconsin USA who was spending her summer holiday in Kenya.
A guide was telling Baraka’s story (he is a blind rhino and the most humane wild animal I have ever met) when Cammie asked why white rhinos are actually black and the guide asked whether anyone knew the answer. I almost always have answers, so I shot my hand up and gambled an explanation. I said something to do with the eye not having some matter in its retina hence its inability to differentiate black and white.
Everyone laughed because even a primary one kid can differentiate black from white. Over lunchtime, she decided to stay at our table. She couldn’t process how and why our teacher was giving a whole 400g loaf of bread and a 500ml bottle of soda to every student. She barely took her countable French fries as she was busy wondering how on earth we ate the whole loaf and drunk all the soda.
I am not sure if she is still in shock, but for the two times we have met again in Kenya, she was been helping an orphaned kid at a local children’s Home.
Waimeri the Rastafarian
Then there is Waimeri who is quite strange. He is a Rastafari guy who acted as my guide when I went through an initiation ceremony. He is so thin and tall that school children call him Cain of the Bible. He extremely loves talking, especially about farming. He has a free spirit and you can always find him in a vest, listening to some reggae music and digging tirelessly on his piece of land. He doesn’t have any known relatives and he is not married. Before the circumcision event, he told me that real men don’t cry, don’t fear, and don’t back off. Well, he did not ask me to be a Ras Tafari as my mates expected or to smoke weed like he is alleged to do, but a few years later, he stabbed a sheep with a fork-jembe so badly that the belly of the sheep split open. Scared and in pain, the sheep ran away, its intestines dangling from its belly before it wriggled to death. When I later asked him about this act, he said, “Soldiers hit dem wid the bullets and die, we Rastafarians hit dem with tunes, and the tunes don’t kill. Buo, Wolande!” I am not sure I understood even a slight bit.
The human race
With Coronavirus making people stay at home, you can find yourself staying indoors for even 10 hours. Consequently, you may have spent too much time on social media, reading whole lots of news. You probably follow your high school best friend and a popular person on your IG.
If you love politics, I’m sure you always have twitter notifying you what Trump said about Fox News, or why Jubilee chooses to bring down Murkomen from his seat. Look at your circle and see the kind of persons surrounding your life. Their diversity is almost infinite. You can’t harness their divergent thoughts, opinions, and thoughts into a converging perspective.
All these people, introverted or extroverted, German or Rwandan, thin or obese, security officers or farmers, funny or stern, naturalists or futurists; are scattered parts of the cosmic big brain. Only when we all learn to accept diversity shall we see the bad side of monotony. Our human nature is the condition that binds us together.
Just because I am not a democrat doesn’t mean I am an extremist. Just because the grey-haired lady sneezed doesn’t mean she is infected with Corona Virus. Failing Calculus doesn’t mean I cheated in my high school exams. Being black doesn’t mean I can’t be part of scientific research with NASA on space exploration. Being white doesn’t mean I have a bungalow in Victoria, investments in Greece, and two apartments in Palestine.
All of us, when ripped off of the affiliations, are humans, connected to the cosmos with a similar link. We are all children of mother Earth. Let us stand up and defend this race, the human race!
Also by Alan Shadowrine, read