By Tilo ngwana Rashaka
It’s exactly 00:00 and I’m adamant to write this article before sunshine. The light in my room is switched off and I’m going through the articles I wrote for A re di fefere. Finally, I reached one of the articles that is so close to my heart. I wrote the article in March and is titled: “Kutlo Boago: Have Sex with me Tilo.” This article mirrors my encounter with Kutlo from Botswana in Francistown. Kutlo sent me a facebook message declaring her supposedly undying love for me, and that she’ll want to have a penetration sex with me. She even suggested that we can always resort to telephonic sex talk if the latter becomes impossible to bring to action due to the fact that we are in two different countries, South Africa and Botswana. As I read the article, my face glitters with smile and even though I’m suffocating under my blanket, I kicked it off, opened my door to switch on the light. Oh, my light’s switch is in the corridor. My friend always tease me saying I have a street light just because my switch is in the corridor and not inside my room. Anyway, I see no difference between him and I. His switch is hidden behind a wall wardrobe, at least is inside his room. There’s a tiny space in between the wardrobe and the wall, that’s where his switch is located. For someone like you who’ve never seen it before, you’ll probably think he doesn’t have any, just like me.
The topic I choose to write about excites me, and without any reasonable doubt, it makes me laugh. I want to write about my big beautiful head. Those who know me will tell that I go by the sobriquet, “sogana la mmala phatleng, la hlogo ya go ikgetha. Ke re tholi ka matepe.”
When I was only 5 year-old and still in pre-school, we’ll sing this song: “mme wa ka o tlile le bana ba lesome. ngwana ka hlogo ye kgolo, ngwana ka hlogo ya panana, ngwana ka lepharo la namune, ba lesome,”
That song made me uncomfortable because it reminded me of my big head that my fellow friends would make fun of. Every time we were asked to sing that song, in the back of my mind I would think that my teachers deliberately wanted other children to make fun of me. I hated going to pre-school just because of that song.
Believe me when I said that encounter materialized into a long-term trauma. For some reason I was uncomfortable about my head for almost 14 years. I felt like the first thing that people see in me is the big head.
That low self esteem stems from when I was still a kid because I was always told and reminded that I have a big head, and that my head is different from other people’s heads; that their’s is round and mine is oval shaped.
What I found funny, and I still do, is that every time I went out to have a hair cut I felt inclined to pay a higher price than the set price. I always told myself that the set price is for persons with “normal sized head(s).” Ha ha ha ha ha ha, I find this funny.
I still remember in grade 10 our English teacher, Mr Ledwaba, once told us that when a baby is born, the doctor will measure the head. If it’s too small or too big, then chances are great the baby may suffer from a mental disturbance or other related illnesses.
Suddenly, the veterans in the corner who probably repeated grade 10 almost 4 times giggled. I don’t know what informed their actions but me, with my low-self esteem about my head, concluded they were laughing at me.
That was in 2007 dear. But today, in 2013, my head is my treasure, I value it a lot. I don’t know what helped me overcome the self-esteem problem but I overcame it anyway. For some reason I think my head is beautiful, damn, I so love it.
Maybe it was never ugly. I think the social atmosphere directed me to see my head in the manner that they wanted me to see my head. Today, me sitting here, I think I was busy concentrating on the bad about my beautiful head without exploring the other side.
I bet if you came to me five years ago and say “Tilo, your head is ugly, it needs to be cut off,” I would have cried my all day long and subsequently avoided any possible contact with you.
But today you won’t say such nonsense to me. I feel like words are not enough to describe the great respect and love I have for my head. Or maybe is because I value the brain that is inside?
The reason I took initiative to share my story with everyone is because I wanted to challenge people to face their demons. People tend to think there’s always something wrong with their bodies, and those faulty elements one way or another affect their self esteem. It might be the nose, ear, eye, stretch marks, body shape, height, accent, too big or small boobs, small penis among others, but I say just wo/man up and face it.
Remember, until you have convinced yourself that your body is good as is, people will always make fun and tease you. Moopedi o mongwe ge a bolela o re “mepipi ye ka moka e ya na.” Because nothing seems wrong with me, at least physically, it does not always mean I’m okay spiritually and mentally.