Yes! Life is a gift which we need to secure and protect. They say it’s a process with no ending point; it upgrades rather than coming to an end that even death failed to end it. Remember the words of the powerful man by the name of John Donne: “Death be not proud”?

This is the story of a 16-year-old boy named Bhekumuzi who was born in an African continent in the south side, in a country named South Africa – the mother land. The teacher was asked the class what they wanted to become when they were older. Some spoke about their dreams and others remained silent, some bowed their heads in shame, not knowing what to say.

A hand waved from the classroom corner and waited while the teacher was pointing to others. A young boy stood up.

“I don’t wanna grow older,” he said. It seemed like a joke but tears made it a sure statement.

“Bhekumuzi, why are you saying that?” a question followed.

“Though life is gift with no end point, what matters is that we all don’t have control over it. If I had to choose I’d choose to remain young forever. Being young is the most significant part in this kind of gift we have, it’s a field whereby we express our feelings, it’s a spot of leisure and recreation. The reason why I hate becoming an adult is that I’ve seen good and bad things about adulthood; being an adult goes with responsibilities and immolations in order to survive and make it in life.

“I’ve grown up in a country where we see all sorts of old people, pastors, doctors, teachers and family leaders, participating in bad deeds sometimes. We don’t have control over this gift of ours, some people manage to stay pure because they have all the required resources to survive, but for some people it becomes tragic to survive trials and tribulations. Some people end up doing bad things because situations allow them to do so in order to hold the responsibilities, like providing for a family and sacrificing for the safety of the children. Now if that’s what it takes to be older then I refuse to grow older.

“Many parents died because they refused to accept defeat. See, I learnt that there are people or situations that are way above our power. Now that’s when we need to understand and accept our failure, but our eagerness does not allow that. Some will choose to fight till death than be disrespected in the public place, trying to cover the fact that “what will people say”. Then if that’s how being a parent is, I refuse to become a father.

“See, I’ve discerned how heartless women can become, especially in a situation whereby a father had a child with another woman at an early age, then he decides to take his son into his new family, to love and show support as he does to others. The truth is, he will only receive that in the presence of his father. Point can be given to his brothers and sisters because they’ll never hate their blood. Unlike their mother, she will never make peace with that. Many young people end up on the streets and others are dead. It’s because of their stepmothers who failed to love and protects them with tender love. If that’s how life is, then I refuse to get married.

“Where I live I’ve seen hatred flowing amongst neighbours, and young kids are being killed. How heartless is that? How can you make someone feel pain by killing a pure soul, a young star that is about to explore life and enjoy the process? Jealousy is the driving force behind this hatred.

“Some people have lost their dignity in the society because of how they appear in the community. Some are alcoholic, rapists and others are just gangsters with no dreams anymore. Yet we call our elders, it’s a shame indeed.

“I’m scared of being an elder! They say you choose how to live your life and I say that you don’t always choose but situations push you into waves of life and only those with all the required materials survive. Know that it’s not fear only that pushes me away from being an elder; remember that being young can become nothing but a memory that lasts forever. So I don’t want to live with memories but I want to enjoy the present forever.”

The bell rang and students walked out, living the teacher shocked.


Tell us: How do you feel about Bhekumuzi’s thoughts about adulthood?