Here comes the second part of Growing Up Muslim! I’m glad this comes in December when we apparently don’t have any celebrations. Our two Eids came and went. So will Christmas and Boxing Day.
We are headed to yet another year and we seem to remain more ignorant with their passage. Is there anything to celebrate if people are still saying these? Let’s aim for enlightenment as we plan to welcome a brand new year. Our resolutions should be based on acquiring more knowledge.
1. Waisilamu si weusi!
I don’t know why being dark is such a big deal in this world. It has been from forever and I have my doubts to as whether it would ever be put in the books of ‘dealt with and forgotten’. Look, slavery hit us again!
You are looking all chic when someone taps you, wanting to place you strategically as they do, is it a job description? Please get me out of my wondrous string of thoughts.
They blurt out, Wewe ni Mnubi (Nubian)?
Ahem, Remind me of what importance that is again for interaction then maybe, maybe I will confirm your doubts.
Children of these days (breathes deeply), one blatantly pointed at me shouting “Muisilamu mweusi!” I almost shouted, Who is your mother, but the horrified woman appeared and warned her. I hope she has eliminated that unbecoming behaviour.
2. Waisilamu hawakaangi hivyo.
This circles back to looks. Where colour is now ignored and your facial features are deeply analysed.
“You can’t be. Muslims have this kalook and you don’t have it,” Byrone blurts out and I say nothing to counter him.
Nothing, not because I have nothing to spew, but I choose to let him live with his ignorance for a while longer.
One day, it will punish him.
3. Utakubali kuwa second wife?
This one I do have an answer for. Most of the women in polygamous marriages have not consented to a number of others being added to the union.
Men go around doing things. Why would you think I will refuse? Or know?
We women are a jealous breed and I might be holding the title for that vice. So, no I won’t accept being the second wife for you to leave me be.
What if that man is the only one ready to marry me, you expect me to let go of that golden opportunity? Islam dictates that marriage is the half of one’s religion. Polygamy is allowed too with regulating conditions. If he fulfils them.
Here you don’t just go around picking women to marry because the Kenyan law permits.
4. Hair show.
My very first welcome in high school was being asked to strip off my hijab for those helping me to carry my belongings to ascertain the hair length.
I did so obediently as I thought it was among the forms of bullying around there. Mmh, long enough.
Till date I can’t help but wonder what if I was keeping shorter hair? Would they have sacrificed me for being uncharacteristically Muslim?
I cut down my hair during the holidays to the length of everyone’s and after kept off displaying it. Such nonsense.
5. “That dirty thing Muslims apply on their hands..”
This from my former principal. A whole freaking principal. In the few seconds she said those words, I was thinking of the schools she went to, her background, her experience as a child, who did this to her?
I couldn’t see how she could claim she was educated, she joins the numbers of many Kenyans who have been schooled.
I glanced back to see the reaction of my Biology teacher who used to apply henna on her nails with a coating of that shiny nail polish. She was not Muslim. She was calm facially but I’m sure deep down, those words left her alarmed.
Henna is made from an actual plant!! The leaves are harvested then dried.
The dry leaves are pounded to produce powder. It is then packaged and for use, you add a little water to make paste which then leaves colour on application.
How has it turned out to be dirty?
This is to mean we should stop all efforts to become healthy individuals by eating from plants we have named veggies, the likes of kina spinach, sukuma wiki and kunde.
You are consuming dirt. You have been warned.