Boys To Men


It was during the fifth year of primary school that my elder brother, younger brother and I underwent the initiation rite of passage in the most traditional way. For real we had to bear it for the situation itself was harassing indeed but this was an approval for “manhood”. An unseen transition from child hood to adult hood. The “surgeon” in his wild company came to our place dressed fully in animal’s hides. He looked scaringly terrible. There was too much noise that only served to terrify us even more.

Earlier on our friends who had already under gone the thing would talk of it as being too dangerous for perseverance. They used all possible harsh words to make us view it as just out of the world yet too unbearable. What of now on the material day and the clock ticking down faster than the heart beat…?? . After a time of motivational sharing with our dads father, the barbaric process set of from the elder to the youngest. I quite can’t bloody well tell what went on thereafter.

We moved to our uncle’s house at our home area where we were in for a four week seclusion period as we healed. He played the role of a sponsor as in the traditional African heritage setup. I found this time of life very challenging to me especially on the big day of celebration to mark the end of this period in readiness for school. Our dad after successfully proving us to be men bought us each a pair of funny looking shorts instead of cladding us in shiny long trousers and possibly suits that would present our man hood picture. I was old enough to note how gentlemen dressed. ”A rent we being taken for a ride?” I thought heartedly. I wondered why he had to make this funny choice and up to now I have never managed to buy out a reason for it.

Our mates made fun of us as we went out to celebrate our manhood later in the day .For believe me we were the only three dressed in such attire for such a day. The news of my uniqueness during the ceremony   spread out like fire in a dry bush up to my primary school which was a stone – throw- away distance. Still I had the big task of withstanding the jokes made by my best friends over it during good time together. Only I felt the stigma it created and it concealed sorrow in my heart. Being a master of circumstances, I gradually got used to it ahem! Man must live!. Indeed this is the period although being good I can’t help talking much about it.



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