The Pecking Order.


Meet Tevin Nzei and Sorce Ndung’u. Charming. Debonair. Suave.

About the title; there’s a pun in there somewhere I’m sure you’ll get it. Once upon a time Tall, dark and handsome was deemed noteworthy. That has now become the modern-day myth. Or at the very least in all my years I found it was swiftly replaced with another. The scourge of the light skin…

Despite the fact that our thoughts dictate our actions. Deep down by design we still have basic instinct. Nature dictates that only the swiftest and strongest of the bunch is chosen. We would like to sit and chat with someone before calling them special. Watch their eyes light up when you make them happy. But like a devil on your shoulder, whispering to your subconscious your body gravitates towards attractive strangers. Usually the female form will always peak the man’s interest. Appreciating how that dress hugs her skin as she struts along the periphery. Or ladies delighting in the well chiseled body of a muscular gent.

Out of all possible characteristics and personalities, The society has exalted a class of persons based on lighter complexion and not much else. The benchmark of beauty regardless of gender is now based solely on skin-tone. I included imagery so that we have a clear understanding of how far down the rabbit hole we dove. Using the lads in the picture as a standard no offence to them, quite saintly they are, the lighter the better. We see it all the time tall, dark and handsome falling a distant second to light-skin. Chubby, skinny, bearded, funny, all disregarded. For the guys ladies swoon at the sight of them forgetting the now less ‘shiny’ suitors. But it doesn’t end there. Oft times jokes are made about how little work one has to do with a lighter shade of skin. A smile and a wink the equivalent of days of detective work, perfect timing, seeking out phone numbers and ‘coincidental and random’ meetings. Chums, that is what I call them, men who forget the bitter-sweet story that is courtship punctuated with colourful rejection.

For gender equality’s sake, light-toned ladies have chaps jumping hurdles and sometimes over each other just to be seen by their side. Shallow perhaps but this fad has overtaken my locality and I can’t help but cry foul. I see sisters resigned to burying their faces under layers of foundation. Believe me I have several, sisters that is, so I fully understand the worth of a woman’s make up. However going from attractive brown skin to near snow-white complexion is not only a marvel but a fear that keeps many a man up at night. Do let’s not digress, we will revisit this skillful many-faced art. Royalty is what we have made them out to be. Day after day we praise so said ladies, proclaiming of their profound beauty. “Rangi ya thao” loosely translated means invaluable and attractive skin haha. Unreplied messages and missed calls are acceptable, all manner of favours and late hours put in all to sate the wanton needs of the light-skinned lady/mami.

Quite true this is a sad reality, the society yet again imprisoning our freedom of thought by creating ‘norms’ that oft demoralize and discourage an unsuspecting innocent. How are we to create meaningful friendships and relationships with the odds stacked so highly in another’s favour. One way or another we have lost or won a consort by this rule of thumb. In the end I was forced to go to the mountains and seek wisdom. As it is said, the answer often lies within. The secret ingredient is not really skin but Confidence.

Through the society’s veil they have received confidence in leaps and bounds by inadvertently taking from others. The buck stops here. Try to call back a memory from days long since passed. It so happens you met someone, possibly even shared a greeting but they soon forgot you. Take no offence you were having a low day and your gloom dampened your usually cheerful spirits. On a different day you meet a stranger and after an unspoken hello, you leave such an impression they consciously make an effort to get back to you. That dear friends is the power of confidence, and no you don’t have to go to the mountains. We all have it aplenty. It is with this tool I will level the playing field Master Tevin Nzei of the stubble and golden skin.

Take heed, it is our imperfections, the little things that make us different that help us stand out. Being decent, funny and thoughtful is worth a lot more than deceptively good looks. But I guess it’s true, your looks get you to the door. Edit that and say your bubbling self-confidence knocks the doors down. I was born chocolate and did I lose out on one or two companions? Irrelevant. Your story is your own to write and narrate. Disclaimer: This article is not a threat. Nor is it to be accepted as advice. These are just the musings of a student in the school of life fabricated by colourful imagination. The characters therein and their names are probably fictional are only sought to help convey the writer’s impression.


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