Growing up in the township has taught me a lot. Instead of being a boy it made me to be the man that I am today. The dirty streets and walls of Alexandra molded my character from a very young age till date. I was born in the late 80s, to a family of five and I was the sixth, first boy and last born and boy.
Growing up in the female dominated house had a dire effect in my life; it made me to be more feminine than what a contemporary man would call a “strong man”. A man would be defined as someone who does not give a F… (The F is not for favour) about what women have to say. As far as relations were concerned, what a man says, goes. Contrary to that, I was the total opposite.
I listened to severe stories that my sibling went through within their different relationships with their male counterparts. They made it a point that raining or not, Sam would not be like them. They taught me how to speak, treat and love a woman. All this was inculcated in my mind daily, as it became a weekly wail.
I deviated from what society was expecting of me. In my community, a man was and still believes that is defined by his drinking, smoking, beating and dating abilities among other things. By default I was a man, and hence the aforementioned were expected of me. But I was not coerced but shaped to deviate from that and be what my sisters wanted; a real (and what my mother used to call “a better”) man should be like.
I spent most of my days in doors, listening to what X did to my older sister, to what C did to my younger sister. All the horrific stories made me to be hungry and live up to my earned tittle of a “Better man”. I started analysing everything within their relationships. My million dollar question was: “Are you happy?” And I would get their normal response of: “Oh well X/C is human too. He makes mistakes like all other beings and hence deserves a second chance. Above all that Sam, I love X/C”.
It became too hard for me to conceptualize or understand what was meant by that short and yet complex answer, because there was just so much to draw from it. Above all the complex nature of that answer, I realised that in life we do not love or care the same. And sometimes hurting your loved ones does not mean that you do not love them and that “people change”.
My observation of X and C was biased to such an extent that I ended up labelling them as losers. The guys who do not know what they want in life, as if I knew what I wanted out of life. As soon as I coined that façade, I saw a drastic change: X and C got married and lived faithful lives with their partners. At first I thought my sister’s decision to granting each guy a second chance as a stupid one. But I later realised that in actual fact it was not, or rather, I was the stupid one by losing the moon while counting the stars.
Pamela and Mbali placed their 100% focus on the moon, because I believe they saw a bigger picture that what the afflictions were trying to deem; their Leonardo Da Vinci “Mona Lisa” kind of a picture.
From that day I realised that “faith” is everything and a value that all human beings should poses. Mbali and Pamela could have easily let go of their abusive or harmful relationships, but because they believed in the unforeseen and were certain of what is to come, they did not. Thus it does not matter what one is currently faced with in life, if one is excited about it then it’s a great path but if not it’s another story for another day.
Tell us: Have you ever experienced people not understanding your decisions? How did you cope with it?