The beginning of the year comes with new school, new uniforms, making new friends, new attitude, whether as a senior or junior in the school. We all go through transitions at the beginning of the year. I was very much prepared for the first month of high school because I knew the focus was on athletics, be it running, high jump, low jump and others. I wanted to be on the field with all my being. I wanted to find my talent in athletics.

It was in the morning of 13 January 2010. I woke up early and prepared for school. Coming late was never my thing. I have always been the type of a person who liked getting compliments for everything, be it arriving early and never being mentioned amongst those rebellious and mischievous behaving students at school.

It was athletics week, everyone could sign up to participate. I envied those who signed up for high jumping, and I on the other hand wanted to run and that’s what I signed up for. Others were all about making new friends. I did not have to worry about making new friends because I was with the same friends from my primary school, which was just next door to our then new high school.

Teams were divided into ten and by colours: red, white, blue and green. I was in the blue team. The next day we had to be at the school grounds by 6am, dressed in colours according to the groups we were in. I did not have anything in blue, so I went back home and searched for a white t-shirt. One that I used a blue highlighter on. I went to school the next day with the intention of running more than everyone in my team including our competitors.

“AHA! this is it! My moment,” I exclaimed. Amongst me were other runners who were taller than me, but that did not hold me back. I wanted to run still, I wanted to be seen.

I ran so much that I could feel my chest aching, it felt like a subtropical desert, I could feel the sun rays on my skin, and I was worn out by then. I couldn’t make sense of why my legs couldn’t carry me like I desired. I was at the very last, so angry with myself that I couldn’t finish the race. I had so much belief that my talent was in running. Academically I wasn’t as good as the top 5 learners, I was average in class, and never got attention like all my friends when they were storytelling about their holidays and life in general.

I watched idols and saw people dancing and singing so well. I tried singing, dancing and storytelling and my voice was just too sharp that I never attempted listening to myself. My worst fear has always been letting someone else listen to me or watch me dancing. I felt like I was not gifted enough, questioned what was the one thing that made me unique; the one thing that I was made for. I often heard people saying “I was born for this,” that was their story. I could eat so well, watch TV and sleep very well but that was just not the talent I wanted.

I came to think that maybe my talent was in listening to people, being kind and helpful. I wanted to shine, showcase my talent, win and let myself be. I wanted to be envied by those around me. Talented people may have more than one talent. I wanted to discover just one. At some point I sauntered towards my mom and asked her what I was born for, questioned if I was born different. I wanted her to watch me, take pictures of me and pictures of my talent.

This was just my own talent story, told differently. I decided to let my talent find me, be it in listening to people, learning in every situation and from new things that I will be trying in the future, doing good, and not being judgmental. Maybe my talent was in singing just not out in the open, maybe in dancing just not for the masses but whatever it was that I was not aware of then, My ‘aha’moment. I was born for it; I was born talented.


Tell us: What would you say you were born for?