‘Brat’ simply means a badly behaved child and ‘Babi’ as Kenyans phrase it, someone who was raised up or stays in a lavish estate and lives a lavish life. So you see, it’s not the same thing. What would you call ‘Kylie Jenner?’. Am no brat nor a ‘babi‘
Dear Friends, I hate to be classified in that circle. I might be looking good now, buying what I need and doing what I have to do. But I had my own struggles growing up. My parents didn’t spoil me. I was not the kid who screams in the supermarket if I wanted something, throw tantrums, meltdown and hissy fit – a brat. I never even went to the store with my parents at some point in life.
I was thrown into a boarding school at a very young age, primary school. I learned to be on my own and make my own decisions. I learned to defend myself. I learned to take responsibilities on my own, because if you don’t, you are punished. I was not taught how to make friends, I did that on my own. I was not taught how to fight, but am a fighter and a survivor. I learned to live with other people even before I was used to my own family. Even before I felt that motherly love.
The worst part was, during the holidays, I stayed with ‘Rose’ the house lady who raised me. I remember I started calling her mum. She used to clean our house in ‘Ocha‘ (Born Town – Kakamega), that’s where I was raised up.
It’s not that my parents did not care. But being raised in an extended family was not fun for me. One of the children had to be treated differently. Too bad it had to be me. It’s not something I ever want my children (If I ever have some) to go through.
It was hard but am here now. I almost made it. Am on that path.
So for the friends that come to visit me and call me a ‘babi’, it pisses me off. Yes, I moved into the lavish estate but am not a ‘babi’. That’s my father’s house. A beautiful 5 bed roomed bungalow home in the most lavish estates in Nairobi. Walked into that home for the first time in class 7. Finding out that you have new sisters and brothers was new and fun at first because I was used to Rose, her children and my boarding school friends.
At some point, I compared my life with the Cinderella Story.
I know many will tell me, it’s home because it’s my father’s house but like I said, living in an extended family is not easy because you don’t know where you will end up. My dad is the one who holds me there but once God calls him (God forbid), it will not be my home anymore. He tells me that himself and reminds me of it, each day.
But as I grew up I understood.
So friends, Call me a ‘babi’ or a ‘brat’ when I have taken you to MY OWN HOME. ON MY OWN LAND. MY OWN HOUSE. Where I pay my own rent and my bills. Then I will appreciate that. But for now, DON’T! I have the drive to work for my own.