With schools closed what could be your kid(s) up to? Probably in up country enjoying shosh’s vibe, while breathing in unpolluted air and making new friends as they go fishing in nearby rivers. In my childhood times, holidays meant lots of grazing, feeding rabbits and listening to radio. That was then. These days kids are more exposed and well accustomed to the evolving technology and it’s advancements.
Now, this week our office welcomed a visitor, an 8 year old boy from my boss’s family friend, who apparently has a desire to acclimatise himself with a typical office set up. While his peers are busy drowning in couches in their well furnished digs playing play stations or watching the latest episode of Empire season 2 or out shopping in the Garden Cities and TRM’s of this world with their affluent parents, this boy is seemingly unfazed and on a whole different mission. This reminds me of a little girl very popular on Instagram, WENDY WAENI. She is only 10 years old, born and raised in Huruma from a humble family background. Wendy started doing acrobats at a tender age of four, and now it has taken her to places she has never imagined. She has performed in front of presidents and many prominent dignitaries across the globe.
Anyway back to this boy, he doesn’t speak any Swahili to start with. His speaks nothing short of refined English. His basic computer knowledge makes fun of his age. In other words, his mastery is not much of a difference from guys thrice his age. His exposure is unrivalled. He types relatively faster than twenty something years old, souls. And at his age, he has a personal laptop which he never leaves behind as he walks in to the office. Meeting him at the corridors chatting with my colleagues or when out for lunch with the most humble jang’o I have met, one Mr. Liech, you’d be forgiven to imagine he is not 8. His curiosity to learn the basics of accounting not in a class set up but in a pragmatic environment has baffled me in the few days I have interacted with him.
His parents must be very proud of their son. He is a sum of all those profound adjectives; Intelligent, disciplined, confident, self-driven, diligent, ambitious, courteous and ………..many more. In fact his confidence levels are so high that they have made him a very inquisitive boy. Seemingly, he is a big fun of contemporary music, an enthusiast of gadgets and a computer geek. One queer character that has made him the talk of the office is his fondness for asking riddles. I have not met a kid who has a more mastery of riddle questions. The situation has been ‘so bad’ to an extent some of my colleagues have been avoiding him.
Riddles are not a cup of tea to every Wanyoike, Ahmed or Stella. They take a toll on us who don’t like ‘over thinking.’ Who the hell came up with riddles? Like why now!! Things should just be the way they are, straight forward and obvious hehehe. To you who schooled in Kiandutu Primary School and later joined Kiaguthu Secondary School, next to River Mathioya, riddles can be a hard nut to crack. Do you know how humiliating it can be a when a sharp looking kid, calls you by name and asks you a question (riddle) that leaves you clueless for a whole five shameful minutes. I thought kids are supposed to look up to adults for knowledge. Nie reke ngwere (let me tell you!) that is unheard of from this annoyingly bright kid.
I’m only left to imagine what his parents go through in a typical evening when they retire home. You know how tired one can be after you check in at home from a busy day only to be met by a bubbly looking boy carrying along a whole bank of knowledge in his mind. That can be so defeating. It means you as the dad, should always be very young and agile in mind as well. Always watering, weeding and basically attending to your I.Q. Without regular refreshing and constantly feeding you brain with knowledge, dealing with such a kid can be very daunting.
This kid will meet you along the corridor and be like;
Boy: Riddle! Riddle!
A poor you will try to respond confidently, meanwhile, urgently summoning all your knowledge ready to take this riddle, only to fail miserably.
You: Riddle (feebly)
Boy: What is it that when you pill its skin doesn’t cry but makes you cry?
Just by the look of your face, this kid will be dealing with an all familiar scenario of ‘humiliating adults knowledge’ so effortlessly. He will give you a suggestive look that will be mischievously asking; who was your grammar teacher? After a whole five wasted minutes, you will give a blank stare only for him to spit the answer in no time.
You: You make a shame-on-me laughter
The boy will not let you off the hook just yet. He will be at it again giving you a second chance. You on the other hand will be promising yourself to do better.
Boy: Mary’s father has five daughters. Namely; Nana, Nene, Nini, Nono and ………….?
You will jump on it very fast trying to redeem your already maimed image.
The boy will look at you disappointingly.
Boy: It’s Mary! come on.
You: Shit! How did I miss that?
Welcome to our world of super kids. Kids who are born competitive, detesting the status quo and always strongly believing the world is theirs to conquer. The truth is, we can learn so much from everybody God places in our lives even if it’s for a minute or day. Never write off anybody. By the way this super kid doesn’t own a phone as you’d expect. His parents are conceivably deliberate and painstaking on this.
This super kid has taught me that riddles make one open minded. His drive to try new things that add value to his life is inspiring. One last one; super kids emerge from families that take parenting seriously. Kageshi, Annabelle & Abigail take lessons.