DOES IT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY?July 30, 2023
VALUE DIFFERENCES AND GROWSeptember 3, 2023
…An excerpt from a Luo lullaby.
It was such a natural song that almost no one around questioned it.
“Back to the roots” is an effective tool for me to better understand my motivations and what inhibits me.
Growing up, why was I so afraid to climb this hill I stand on now?
The years are 1980-1985.
The nights are pitch black, except for the bright stars.
But we don’t notice the bright stars, because as soon as it gets dark, my mother warned, we went in and locked all the doors.
Bad things happen in the dark – every baby knows that. Two stories we were told over and over again as children were:
1️⃣The “Nyawawas” – the undead, met and drummed on “Got Asego” – On the hill I’m currently standing on (see picture).
Any drumming at night was attributed to evil spirits. The explanation was very plausible: the ghosts all come from the cemetery near the hill.
All lost unloved souls.
So they call for their relatives.
2️⃣ Crying hyenas looking for naughty children.
We actually heard the hyenas “calling” from a distance when I was a child, but we never saw them during the day. Children were admonished if they “cryed unnecessarily” that a hyena would come to get them.
There is still a children’s song about it to this day. The kids still fall asleep 🙂
From today’s perspective, this story seems obviously unbelievable to you.
However, as a child, when everyone says the same thing and behaves accordingly, it is very difficult to convince people otherwise.
We also didn’t have television. These stories were scary and entertaining at the same time. We always wanted to hear more about it.
My school was very close and was therefore called Asego Primary. Man, I was afraid to walk past the cemetery alone back then.
Except for one time, with a group of scouts, it never occurred to me to simply climb this attractive hill.
Today it feels really good to talk about it and laugh with my children.
Recently in Kenya we went to Got Asego again and enjoyed the best view of Homa Bay and Lake Victoria.
When dealing with diversity, it is also worth exploring the source of your own inhibitions.
Today, as I climb Got Asego, every step helps me to question similar carried-over fears and their implications.
Because the same thing happens when a group of people are spoken about negatively and one-sidedly – just because they are different.
What is possible if we consciously let go of limiting beliefs towards strangers?