I got a chance to read today’s paper in the matatu on the way to school. Something I appreciate about these matatu terrorists is at least they don’t charge you for reading their paper. One of the stories was of a 21 year old guy, Harun, that had been given a 5-year jail sentence for trying to kill his mum and dad. He had sprinkled some kind of poison in the maize flour that would have been used to cook ugali. It did not work out as he had planned. The mum suspected something was fishy because, get this, it was not the first time he had tried to kill them. She confirmed her suspicions by comparing with the smell of neighbour’s flour to hers and used the same neighbour’s flour to cook the ugali and serve it to him. Then the arsehole pretended that he was going to eat in his room and dumped that shit in his father’s gumboots or something like that.

The parents regret him not getting a stiffer penalty. They wanted him to get over 20 years. A self preservation thing that would have made sure they were dead before he was released. But 5 years? Nigga will be out in 2018 and come and finish where he started. He is now getting some pretty concrete advice as he gets anally raped in jail by serial murderers and other social rejects. Advice that he might plan on using when he gets out.

The reason for this parricidal behaviour? Why would anyone want to kill the wonderful people that brought you to this earth and raised you to be the fine person that you now are? He did it because his dad did not want him to get a national identification card. The guy is 21 years old. But according to his dad, and this is now the topic I am trying to address, the reason for this shrewd murderers behaviour was because of the company this kid keeps. That is the problem according to Dad and I am here screaming on top of my lungs, ‘BUUUUULLLLLSHHHHHHIIT!

Do not get me wrong, the company might have been a contributor but parents need to start taking up the responsibility of how shitty their kids turn out. This nonsense that if your son succeeds you take credit but if he fails you blame other people, the government or the media is pretentious and stinks of self-righteousness.

Little Tommy gets a scholarship to Harvard and graduates top of his class: you are there with an extravagant graduation party and pictures in his graduation gown will be littered all over the walls and you won’t wait to get credited for raising him. No you will not. You will volunteer that information:

I knew Tommy wanted would be a lawyer when he was two. And I have been supporting him towards this endeavour ever since. We are so proud to have another lawyer in the family.

Maybe the nigga did not even want to study law. Maybe he felt his calling was in something artsy. Something that would fuel his passion for home science and design.

But if little Sally turns out to be a crack-cocaine addict that gives blow jobs to strangers in exchange for a spoon or a lighter?

I don’t know what demon got into Sally. It is those friends that she hangs out with.

or

It is this damn media glorifying sex and drugs.

or

The government should make prostitution more illegal.

They never want to take that kind of blame. It dirties their parental cred.

What a load of sanctimonious filth.

If I sound a bit enraged, it might be because I have experienced this. I am sure most of you have and if you are open enough you can give us revelations scarier than the one I am about to give.

If you were a fan of my Blogger blog you might have noticed that most of my material were about how my aunt (The Aunt)  is really not, how do I put this, the best person around. She has a certain je ne sais douchebaggery about her. Something nobody seems to notice until they live with her. Something I have never mentioned in the blog is she has a son. Slightly younger than my sister. Actually, I think he is 21 one years old. And just like the prisoned guy, The Aunt has refused to give up the documentations necessary to secure my cousin with an ID card.  This is probably why I perused the newspaper article. It sounded familiar. The difference is my cousin will not be trying to kill The Aunt anytime soon. Why? Because The Aunt is a more successful demoralizer. And this is what I think the Harun’s parents were not good at. If you want to have full control over your child, make sure that you demoralize him (or her) completely. Make sure he (0r she) comes off second-guessing himself (herself) by criticizing him (I am sure you get the drift) a lot until he loses confidence and he is just as dispirited as a watered down glass of liquor  Make sure that you also controlling everything he does. Pressure him to  succeed for your sake and never let him waste time with mindless activity like playing with others. He should always be indoors studying to be whatever it is that you were too dumb to be. Ever wanted to be a lawyer but barely made it to the university? Live off your childhood dreams through your son. You gave birth to him so you can pretty much do whatever you want with him. Start while he is young so that he grows into it. Tell him what to wear, what to eat, what to watch, who to be friends with, who to be when he grows up and eventually you have a control of how he thinks. Make sure that you strip off any individuality he may have so that he becomes a mirror of your beliefs.  When you do this the kid is yours forever.  If your brain washing was not well done, like in the case of Harun (probably), then exposure might start tearing down what you have built. If he gets into a decent school with decent education he might see what is happening and resist so try your best to limit his exposure.

The Aunt, like most parents, has tried this. I am not against forcing or manipulating your kid to do what you want but I think she hit an extreme. The Aunt is widowed and lives with us for she doesn’t own her own house.  So naturally her son also lives with us during the holidays. But we had a small house in Nairobi which meant that the dudes had to sleep on the living room floor or the sofa. She did not think this was good so she slept with him. Seemed natural until the kid started breaking his voice and everyone was like hey, nigga is going to high school and still sleeping with his mum? That is fucked up! By then we had gotten a house with an extra bedroom but I will bet you anything that if we had not moved he still would have been sharing a bed with his mother. This kind of shit messes a nigga up! People must have made fun of him because of this.

It did not help that The Aunt gave him a feminine name. People hear his name and assume he is a girl. It also did not help that his light-skin, soft voice and pre-planned clothes made him look like a girl. He was taken to an all-boys high school and the administrators took a while to understand that this tomboy was not bringing her brother to join high school, she was the one joining the school. And she is a he. Tough!

Having not been allowed to play with kids his age, (because ‘he might get hurt’) he became very antisocial. Not like me though. His was different. He couldn’t relate well with kids his age so he would end up playing with my bro and his friends. There is a 10 year difference in their ages. People also pointed out that this was weird. You cannot go out running the whole day with a 5-year old kid unless your brain is like a 5 year old’s. His behaviour rarely matched his age. It was like his brain did not grow up at the same rate with his body. This was not to say the kid was academically dumb! Oh no he was not. He went to the same high school I did and was performing way better than I did. His favourite subjects were physics and math. The kid was bright. And then shit started to happen.

One day The Aunt gets called and told her kid just suffered an epileptic kind of seizure. No one knew what to make of that. The kid was taken to hospital and the doctors could not immediately say what was wrong. These convulsions started being more frequent as time went on and hospitals tests revealed nothing. Or if they did, The Aunt did not inform us. She is usually that secretive so we did not t push it. These seizures started having an adverse effect on  his life. Spending days in hospitals meant he fell back in school. He was put back one class. Still didn’t improve, the seizures now had his front teeth knocked by his desk and Lord knows how many more bruises.  They took him back another class. Still not catching up.

Now the school was blamed and he was moved to a more expensive fancier one. They must have believed that is was the school environment that was the problem. But never actually talked this out with him. Therapy was not even an option because this is Africa. Where we don’t suffer mental problems like the West. The fact that the kid cannot find someone to talk to is what saddens me. I said that the high school I was in was tough and people got bullied a lot. I , myself, got bullied even by my own classmates! But since I passed with flying  jumping colours, they opted to take him there. The admin assured them, however, that the bullying had stopped. Yes it might have but we never know because he never talks. Light-skinned, female-looking, timid boys were the highest targeted by our bullies for the reasons you think. He changed his name when he joined, a good move that he must have been planning for a while.  The school says that they have the boys in order but these same boys burnt down my cousin’s dormitory that same year. We never set anything thing on fire back when I was there. So when the admin says they have everything under control…

What now is becoming stressful is the constant blame that I am the one causing these convulsions. Because I let him use my computer. The light from the screen triggers them. This has made me, and all the people who get blamed for his sickness, avoid being around him. This must have added to his loneliness  His mum also deduced that he sort of knows when he is about to collapse which was not far from saying that he plans it. This would explain why he only falls when he is around people he knows instead of in the middle of traffic. This bugged me. How can one plan such a seizure?

Now we get to the Twilight Zone. Here I come up with an hypothesis that has not been tested and should not be held against me. It is what I think and I am not an authority in this field so feel free to disregard everything I propose as the cause of my cousin’s sickness. If it is true that somehow it only happens when he is indoors, then I think his subconscious is trying to tell him something. Which in my opinion is, ‘give up buddy’! Yes, I am saying the kid is attempting suicide. Not consciously though. His brain is trying to kill his body and his body is fighting back. It is my opinion that he should see a shrink because I think he has a psychological problem. A lot of Kenyans have mental conditions that are only visible when someone gets hurt and our response usually is jailing the psycho! You remember the guy that had set out to kill 100 people and only made it to 18 before he was caught? What did his psyche results indicate? I doubt he got tested. This 21 year old that has been jailed for trying to off his parents, did he get tested? Why would he, he is an animal and needs to rot in jail, is what everyone thinks. In as much as it maybe true, it would be nice if they would be evaluated so that we know what the root of all this madness is. I would not be surprised if most of this behaviour is attributed to how one was brought up.

My cousin is now okay which has prompted everyone to ignore finding the deeper issue. The drugs the doctors are pumping into him seem to work. But he is now 21 and still in high school. His mother still limits his freedoms Draconianly.  And he still avoided by many so he has no one to honestly talk to. It is not over. These problems will manifest into something else. It is just a matter of time.

To summarise (Damn, this was one long post), the reason why I think The Aunt has everything to do with this sickness is because she is also the one raising my kid bro because my parents are away. She has raised my bro like her own child. We get a glimpse of how she raised her son from how she is raising my bro. It is identically the same.  It is even more apparent when people confuse my cousin and my bro.  My bro even started his ‘suicidal’ tendencies early. The house help brought this to her attention and I was there listening in. All his sweaters are burnt at the chest area. It is like he likes setting things on fire. And the even scarier part is he sets his sweaters on fire while he is still wearing them. If this is not a sign that he is subconsciously trying to set himself on fire, then cigarettes don’t cause cancer. We immediately explained this to Mum, but do you have any idea how dumb you sound when you try to tell your mother, that the sister that has raised her and her kids is not doing it well. We sound like confused brats. I had suggested a child shrink and I came off sounding like someone who thinks that money comes from trees. Everyone has been advocating for Bro to go to boarding (out of our distorted house) and it just only worked. This year my bro went to boarding school. At 11 years old. We hope that it turns out okay and he is quickly exposed to how life is early.  It might be a good thing or a bad thing. But as long as he is away from The House, we believe he will turn out okay.

I can go on talking about how I think we are who our parents decide but I have an exam to revise for. But I would like to hear what you think or your experience. Do you think the parents are to blame for how their children turn out whether good or bad? Do you believe that mental instability is an issue Kenyans should fully address? As always, I look forward to what you think.

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