The First Time I Got My Piercing as an African, Kenyan Boy
It was in the year 2009 while I was in college at the age of 19 years. On this day we were in school chilling and we were about to go have lunch. We were waiting for everyone in our crew to come so we could go for lunch together. One of my friends in the crew was talking about having his second piercing done on him. Piercing had never ringed in my mind before. So I was interested in seeing how its done.
Now as were heading to get lunch, everyone was talking about piercings. This is until we reach the piercing studio. My friend though he had done it before was kind of nervous. As they were sanitizing his ear, he seemed unsure if he wanted to have it done. I told him to be a man we need to leave and he was like “You don’t know how painful it is”. I told him to stand and I sat on that damn sit and that’s how I got my ear pierced. All this time I forgot about how my parents would react.
That evening when I reached home, with my ears all sparkling was scary. I knew both my parents were indoors. I knocked on the door and I cannot tell which of my siblings opened it. I entered the house and stood at the door, the plan was not to hide it. Let them see and whatever happened at least I won’t go through the hustle of hiding it.
My mother was the first parent to see it. She noticed I was just standing in front of the door and not moving. Our eyes met and she shook her head. She was sited beside my dad who at that moment was watching the news on the Television. She was like “Look at your son”, now that’s when shit started going down. My dad looked at me and went back to watching TV apparently he did not notice anything. My mum told him to look at your son again but he still did not notice anything. She said again “Look at your son’s ears, he has had his ears pierced”. That’s when the news stopped being interesting to him and he switched his concentration to me.
He asked me straight “Are you a girl, why have you had your ears pierced like a girl “I just kept quiet. He was like “I always thought I had three daughters and two sons I did not know, I have four daughters and a son. Am still quiet just standing beside the door, not that I was going to run in case my dad stood up. He had never beaten me before that I was sure of. The only beating I have received was from my mum. He was like now you walked to this house with those girlish things on your ears, have brought shame on him. He was like did guys start catcalling you when they saw your ears.
It was humiliating but I kept quiet and was just smiling. You see most cultures in Kenya boys do not pierce their ears. Some cultures such as the Maasai get their ear pierced but not for studs. Their earlobe skin normally gets stretched and it hangs. But nowadays most Maasai boys don’t do that. Am from the Luo tribe and in our culture before colonialism we used to have piercings. We forgot our culture and now having a piercing was seen as someone who is not serious with life.
My dad talked the whole night long. We had dinner and after I went to my room and we laughed with my sibling. His insults were kind of funny and I was used to it. I would react the same way now if my son came with a piercing in my house. What I learned the most is my dad was cool because some dads would just tell you if you are going to have those things on your ear just leave my ears. But he talked and kind of let me keep them. An sure I kept them on for a long time until I started getting bored having them on.
Nowadays I tell people that I used to have earing on and they doubt that. My skin complexion is dark so you hardly notice my youth side. I guess it was part of the growing process. Sometimes I would like to ask him about that day but sadly his not here with us. I miss that man.
Next time I will tell you a story about when I had my first tattoo done