Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Letter to my ten year-old self

How are you my little brother? It has been such a long time! How have you been anyway? Not too bad under the circumstances, I guess. Well, for me it has been twist and turns, but then I hope this applies to you as well. I just want to tell you how much lucky I feel to have met you back then. Things were interesting hey, didn't they? Do you still remember your close friend Anele in Orlando East? That scruffy, dirty looking boy from Phiela street? Even today I cannot remember his last name, but never mind. Geez, how close you two were! Soul buddies, I must say. Well, the last time I heard about him is that he had cleaned up pretty good. Quite charming young boy he was. If I could turn back the hands of time maybe I could hook you up with him. If it was only that possible. Remember little girl Sophie and her great birthday parties; and Tarzan on the television? Ufana ne mfene kaTarzan...haa,haa, haaa!! Then let me take you back to the days on the farms and the village. I remember seeing you running all over the place. Full of life and happy. Do you recall when you disturbed the bees' nest and ran away and let every kid you were playing with be stung by the angry bees? Such a rascal you were. And when you took the whole box Brooklux chocolate laxatives, ate it thinking it was chocolate? There you had parents very worried. By diarrhea that resulted from that? Your mother was worried sick as to what happened to you? They only realized what happened after finding the box of Brooklux empty inside your mother's bag. Then the penny dropped. You ate them thinking it was chocolate. What about that shepherd that you and your friend, Ntsokolo, use to harass? What was his name by the way? Oh, Simon or Sy. He was much older than you two. How you use to sneak up on him and then scream "Sy with a big dick". Oh my, how he used to be angry with you two! He would chase you all over the place with his face twisted with some kind of anger that could make the weak shake in their boots...but you never gave up. The allure of fun was too much to resist. Then there were those Friday nights at the soccer field were you use to be in the company of older boys. Those bon fires you use to make out of old tyres were legendary. All the kids in the village use to come together and that old boy, Dodo's tape recorder blaring music into the night. Those tyres were probably stolen somewhere in the village...from the farmer's yard. The fun of it! Dancing to Om' Rex Rabanye "O nketsang" and doing break dance to Bejamin Ball's tracks. It was pure joy. The children of today must take the leaf out of your book. Their kind of fun pales in comparison. Our fun was only stopped by one lunatic parent with a sjambok. We stopped after that lunatic slashed open the thigh of the boy called Vicks with a sjambok.That was beacause we were becoming a bad influence to his kids, and kids being kids his used to join us. He was a fanatical disciplinarian that old man. Vicks still bears his scar even today. Everybody used to love you. The old girls, especially. What was the nickname they use to call you by? Oh, now I remember...Alosto. I didn't know what it meant. Then at primary school it was another part of your life that need remembering. Do you recall little Stevie with the gruff voice and Mandla? Best friends ever! The gruffly- voiced Stevie was the provider of everything. His father had deep pockets, you know. The only sad part of your life was when it was time to bring home school reports. You use to hate that because you'll have outperformed the rest in your family. This did not sit well your brother because the parents use to compare reports. He was not academically gifted like you. Gifted in other ways, but then parents use to rub it in as some way to encourage him. You use to cringe at the snide remarks he use to pass at you. Slowly you died inside because he let you believe that your worth was only through books. That use to hurt you a lot. You are still carrying those scars today. The thing is you use to look up to him as a brother. He violated that reverence that you use to give him. He could be comical fellow on his day. Everybody liked him and used to laugh at his wacky jokes. You wished to be like him and make people happy. He could talk to anyone, young and old with relative ease. You like being like him. Such was life man. But let me tell you one thing. He was a damaged kid. There was some deep hurt and shame right down his soul. It use to descend on him sometimes. It is just that you never noticed. As such he became vindictive and you struggled to cope with that. That was his method of coping. Please understand that. I know how much damage that negativity did to you. This made you to withdraw into yourself, and books became your friends.Koeketsa Kitso ya Lefatshe and Crhis van Wyk's books became your friends. Some of your friends use to enjoy reading them and tell you that you have interesting books. Don't you remember? They told of interesting places and things. That somehow managed to lessen the hurt you use to feel inside. I am writing to you now to tell that that whole experience was just to make you stronger. Here you are after all these years. Well, life happened, and it will continue to happen as it should. So far you prevailed. Please enjoy all the experiences because that is what life is all about. What does not kill you makes stronger. I am telling you this because I love you and will never forsake you. There are still going to be mean and ungrateful people out there when you grow up. Please don't let them steal your shine. Live your life as you see fit. Make mistakes and learn from them. Other than that do what pleases you and learn to laugh at yourself and your sometimes stupid mistakes. Love you to bits...take care. Your older self... Adios amigo.

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