Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Coming of Age

Lightly put coming of age simply refers to an experience one may have had that lead them into adulthood or the exact moment that they knew that’s become a woman / or man.

For hundreds or even thousands of years coming of age was closely associated with right of passage which was a ceremony or ritual whereby one leaves their current level to join the next step of life, for boys it would be circumcission and for girls it would be getting your first period.

But through the dynamic ness of our time we’ve since learned that these aren’t always true moments of “becoming”. I discovered this when I was 9 visiting my grandmother in deep KZN n woke up in a pool of blood which I assumed was the result of something wrong I had done but was I a 9yeat old girl now a woman, a full grown adult who went to bed as a little girl not even a teenager now a woman ? Ofcause back than it took me sometime to learn that I had not wakes up no different to yesterday and I was still a little girl something I wish someone had told me on that very day. Looking back I realise how the black cultures unwindingness to speak on conversations that make them uncomfortable has distorted our society. Losing your foreskin doesn’t automatically make you a man who should be feared and unapproachable.

Though I acknowledge it’s the ways in which our parents were brought up that shaped how they in turn parented us, don’t talk about sex, don’t talk about child birth don’t talk about your emotions, men don’t cry, women submit, the father is not to be questioned, a good woman is seen not heard blah blah blah blah blah. Truth is if not for these silly teachings maybe just maybe our society would be a few steps ahead aswell n maybe not faced with the common problems we have today because of lack of knowledge, mind you I said knowledge not education but that is ofcause a topic for another day, for today my point is simple the black community needs to find speak up share knowledge , communicate, empower and inform. The youth suffers today mostly because they had nobody who just told them basic stuff like how to get a bursary or that you don’t need money to go to varsity or that that subjects you pick in grade 10 really really matter as they’ll determine what you can and can’t do in result shaping the rest of your life.

And fortunately for us life in a digital world, literally everything you needs to know about anything is on line, but I urge parents to leave the the life lessons to Google and experience, speak to your children share your own personal experience, learn to stay calm and become your child’s friend. I’d you’d take a moment to think back you’d recall how “tough”growing up was; and I put that in speech marks to highlight that though to the adult you children problems may not seem real or big but to them and to you at that age it meant the end of the world.

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