Monday, 16 January 2017

Frank Fredericks would have been proud of me.

Flight or fight? Flight.

That was me, all the time my uncles tried to lay their hands on me. I was gloriously naughty. I think I messed up almost daily, the only times when I didn’t do something worth of getting me whipped was when I slept, which was very minimal. I was the most problematic 8 years old in the village and I grew up thinking that my name is ‘Haitii kaanaave” which translates to a rather not so kind “hey you kid’. I did the best I could do, to be the best kid ever, but I just had so much energy in me. I really could not contain it and so I resorted to just being me. Naughty and always out and about.

Mum told me I was a very handsome kid, which doesn’t add up, why would you then let your cousins and aunties whip your handsome kid? Made me feel like she only said that because I’m her son and you’ve got to constantly tell your kid that he is handsome.

I grew up in a village. Like any other boy, I had to spend most of my time herding cattle and goats and that’s like the utmost curse for a wambo kid, it is responsible for 93% of the beatings we receive growing up. In my case, it was negligence, I had a “Wat sal hulle maak?” mentality and my pace gave me reason to just let shit hit the fan cause when my uncles pull out their belts and try to whip me, I miraculously transformed into a short little Frank Fredericks, leaving them in a cloud of dust while I gallop away like a fresh and young antelope.

This one time, me and my fav cousin Waka decided we will do what many kids do; play with toy cattle made of clay soil. We sat and put our hands to work, not realizing the most rude and really petty goats running into mum’s field. Now THAT’S like a one way ticket into the killing zone, I mean when that happens, you better just pray to God and call on your ancestors to guide your soul to heaven cause boy you are in shit!!!

Of course my cousin panicked, well as of me, I’m just like “let me flex my legs cause there’s a 400m sprint today”. We quickly detour’d the goats out. Time passed and at about 17:00 when we had to take them back to the kraal, we heard our uncle calling us. I knew that something was not right. So we went to him and he asked us if we herd goats in the field, LOL, like nigga just whip us don’t go all Harvard Law School on us jeez cut us some slack yo. Well, blah blah blah, next thing I know, we are required to go pick the branches so he whips us. Yes, we needed to pick our own whips. That’s like blending your own poison to drink later, like running yourself over with a car. I picked the weakest, smallest, most fragile sprout from the nearest ka tree, I had a bigger plan. 

My cousin was up first, so my uncle went all berzerk on him and half way in, I decided to do the usual ritual. “Flight or fight? FLIIIGGGHHHTTTT” and with that, I threw the branch down and bolted off like a gazelle, running with my shirt flying behind my back like a kite, cutting through the air like a Porsche.

My cousin’s cries encouraged me to run as fast and far as possible. All I needed was a 3 seconds head start and I knew my uncle won’t catch up with me, fam I was flying like a Sparrow!!! He probably came after me but the dust I made perhaps just saved me from his wrath. I didn’t look back as I ran, I just wanted to get as far as possible. And long story short, I joined boxing classes later on. Just so I can stand there and do the ritual like, “flight or fight? Bring it on you little wrinkled uncle, let’s dance!! But yeah we never danced cause “respect”.