Growing up in Africa is a bit like getting hit by a car full of clowns, Its confusing but still funny.
Putting this into perspective: My mother- 5 months preggers with me, my dad was a manager of a farm in Zimbabwe at the time, that did a bunch of things- one of which was breeding bulls. One beautiful African afternoon my parents went to go check on a new bull they traded with another farmer, s*#t well this bull apparently took one look at my dad and just lost his marbles. He charged towards the fence, broke through it and chased my parents down the road… my mother was holding her belly with me, running at full speed, and dad shooting his shot gun behind him over his shoulder while running behind my mother screaming “LORRAINE, RUN!” and my mother yelled back “NO S#*T DARRYL, I WAS GOING TO SKIP MYSELF TO SAFETY!”.
Lol, welcome to the world little Kim. Life on the farm was freeing- my fondest memories are from the days riding around on the motorbike with my dad, walking into my room and finding a snake in.. IN MY BED!! (Without my permission obviously, how rude! Its funny how when you grow up you find that the snake just turns into your ex that you’re running away from that’s in your bed! Ha!), going to dip the cattle and getting thrown into the tick, hair & cow poo filled dipping bath (To then later in 2014 be initiated into my High School by doing “Moo Poo” where we swim through a cow dip bath full of cow poo and mud)… yummy.
Life was simple, nearly every photo of me as a Pikanini (a small kid in Shona) was of me with hands wrapped around a rose shoving it into my nose. Lol I blame this on my current sinus issues. I think possibly I took the phrase “Don’t forget to smell the roses” a little too seriously. To this day, you can still find me smelling a rose or in a flower field as a happy Kim. Sneezing, but smiling.
I moved a lot growing up, with my dad’s company fixing up coffee plantations, the divorce plus me growing up doing my own thing; Currently 21- I’ve lived in 24 different houses and been to 13 places of education (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary). With this I’ve developed my own “superpower” in a way, any kid who has travelled a lot will either be able to relate to the following or highly disagree: Because of packing up so often, I got used to remaking new friends, letting go of materialistic things and finding the new shops ect ect.. to this day if I am in a town/ city for too long I get “Socially claustrophobic”- I think I’ve developed this term to help me describe it? If I’m around the same people, or in the same place for too long I feel stuck as well as a strong need or desire to move/ leave or make new/more friends.
In a way this has helped me develop a complete sense of feeling comfortable outside my comfort zone. It’s helped me as an adult to expect change and genuinely look for it: I’m terrified of heights (because I got stuck at the top of a cupboard hiding from my brothers in “hide and go seek”, age 7)- yet I’ve sky dived, did The World’s Highest Bungee Jump, cliff jumped, free fell 47meters into a net in water tower, fell backwards into a valley for 67meters and so on so forth.
I’ve LIVED, when I was younger it was tough making friends and all, yet with the right attitude & with a hunger for life, I’ve learnt that my fears or my “disadvantages” to this world can get me ahead if I harness them well enough. Fear doesn’t have to be a weakness, it can be your greatest driving force. If something scares you, you run towards it at full speed. Don’t skip away from it like my mother almost did. Unless it’s a literal charging bull or snake/ex in your bed, then run your little ass off.
As a little African kid, I grew up with mud between my toes while a rose was up my nose. I’ve learnt to live life by a “2x 5 by 5 Rule”1) It takes 5 seconds of courage for something to go very wrong or very right, your attitude can decide which direction. 2) If it isn’t going to matter in the next 5 years, it shouldn’t matter in the next 5 minutes.
Let go, Live, Take every opportunity- they can say no, but the worst YOU can say is no.
About the Author: Born In Zimbabwe. Currently residing in Cape Town, South Africa. A Chef who is in love with biscuts and the idea of living life wholeheartedly by taking every opportunity as it comes. This is the story of me falling in Love with life as an African Kid and what I’ve learnt from it. As well as the humor you can find in my day to day life, It can get dramatic- fair warning. Yours kindly, That Kid Kim.