Several months ago, I went to have my hair done at a salon not very far away from where I live. The only lady who could make my hair was still busy with someone else but since I had a book,( I was reading HOMING IN by Marjorie Oludhe) I simply took a seat and begun reading. You are probably wondering how I managed to read with all that noise that is normally characteristic of salons: well, Like everything else in my life, I had selected the salon carefully. I knew in advance that my hair-dresser was not going to be around so I started looking for a good place early enough.
A friend called me to inquire about some classwork and I stepped out to explain. When I came back, the lady who was supposed to make my hair was through with her earlier work but for some reason, she did not look ready for me. I couldn't get it.
Anyway, I eventually managed to convince her that I could not come back another day and she started making my hair. But she looked disturbed; her face was not the way it looked when she was working on the other girl's head.
Chance for me to ask her what the problem was presented itself when she was halfway done with my head and we were left a lone in the salon.
"Have I wronged you in any way?" I asked really sieving my words because a lot of people tell me I speak with a harsh tone even when what I am saying is not harsh. Add to this the fact that my smiles don't come easily and you get double reasons why I needed to be careful with that talented young lady who was working on my head.
She did not answer for almost an over-long moment and I almost gave up on the answer.
"I don't like campus girls." She answered briefly and at first I was taken aback. I wanted to ask her how she knew I was a campus girl but I remembered the phone call and decided not to waste her breath.
"Why don't you like campus girls?" I asked tongue in cheek.
"They are so full of themselves and they treat other people like trash." She answered without as much as a single thought.
I have never liked being called a campus girl myself and as far as identity goes, I remain Daisy Nandeche Okoti; call me any of those three names if you really have to call me. But I knew that was not the best time to get tasty with this lady. So, I engaged her in an almost long conversation about the so called campus girls and I can tell you she had a point and truth is university students in this country have a bad name; take it or leave it.
Not long after that incident, I went to collect a shoe that had been taken for repair at a cobbler. The cobblers' work station was a long a path I use regularly. The shoe was not ready when I got there and since I did not want to make many trips, I chose to wait. But I declined the sit he offered me because the skirt I was wearing was a bit short and I was not sure I would be comfortable sitting next to them.And anyway, I have no problem standing. I can stand for more than two hours if I mean to.Since I did not have a book, I started reading a few things in my phone.
And their conversation started...
"I don't want this girl here any longer. I fear her attitude. You know she is in campus..." One of them said. They were speaking in their mother-tongue which is also my mother-tongue, so either they did not know I was of their tribe like many people who have never succeeded in telling my tribe or, these two otherwise good gentlemen had judged me as a city-bred girl who did not even know what the name mother was in her mother-tongue.
"And if you don't make that shoe properly, you'll be in trouble. She will hit you with it...she even refused to sit on our chair, maybe it's not her class" The other one answered and I was exasperated. What was wrong with these men? I had never talked to them before, all I do is pass on that road. And how they knew I was in campus is also not in my knowledge. I was so angry with them but I figured an open confrontation wouldn't help so I told them that I was going to get something from a shop and would pick the shoe on my way home. They agreed with a smile, you wouldn't have thought they were capable of gossiping anyone, and a stranger for that matter. Only GOD knows what they said after I left.
As I walked back to the house later on I discovered that they had a misconception about university students as did the lady who had made my hair earlier on. I have forgiven them.
But really, the misconceptions about university students are not even almost closer to the end. I am logged on to facebook right now and and I'm going through a page I have been reading about a lot this past week. The page is allegedly a creation of campus chics(as they like to be called this sides) who have no fears about openly(or otherwise) looking for men (whom they don't want to call sugar daddies) who can "spoil" them with money. A lot has been said on the Kenyan media about them but their message is quite clear. "IT'S OUR LIFE".
I have also come with a message for them tonight.You 'divas' talk a lot; I have seen that on your facebook page. I wonder if you can dance to your own tune... listen here pretty babez, there are times when words are useful and times when words are not useful. A lot of things go on in this world; it is never black or white and that's why, if you look carefully, you will discover that there are a lot of gray areas. That should tell you why none of us will come out of this life a live. But to say that we live the way we want, breaking whatever rules that have been observed since time immemorial all in the name of "...and the lord said he who is without sin should cast the first stone..." is gross. In the book of proverbs, that same bible says that anyone who ignores wise counsel is a fool... and there is no apology after that to say that you are not fools and GOD was just joking...
It maybe your life but the damage you cause affects many. No one knows the number of times I sit in public places like restaurants fearing that an elderly man who may know I'm in campus will walk up to me and ask for a 'massage' because that is supposed to be one of the things 'university students' give. No sir! Look elsewhere.
As I said much earlier: you are right, it's your life but I am sorry to disappoint you... IT'S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME.