Dear sister, in these times, everything has become digital. Children are educated by use of laptops while they play on gadgets such as play stations. Goods and money are traded through computer and mobile transfer.
Life has become much faster and easier compared to the analogue times when teachers taught by use of black boards and dusty chalks and children played with ropes and mad in the fields. Those days, money was carried in cash for any trade.
I write you this letter because similarly I have realized how old fashioned or as they like to call us analogue I seem to be, and how progressive your world is – the digital world as they call it.
We are not so many years apart by age, but as you know even a few years can be a big difference. Every time I set my eyes on you I see a smaller version of myself, a more defined, beautiful and elaborate woman. Not that I consider myself doing badly on those fronts, just that we do not belong to the same generation.
When I was growing up, the word dead beat was an adjective hardly heard of. Dead beat is now used to refer to dads that neglect their parental responsibilities.
Nowadays there are many reported cases of dead beat dads. They never provide nor show up for their families, this has contributed to a lot of havoc in the family unit. Single mothers are left to raise children alone.
Daddy was always glad to see little chubby me, he proudly showed me off to his friends. He carried me on his shoulder like all responsible fathers did and played games with me. Daddy had some serious dreams for me, most of which have since come to pass as I will soon share in this letter.
I have grown up seeing mothers respecting their husband and being happy making them dinner in the evening and waving them goodbye in the morning before setting off to their daily chores. I have seen mother refusing to have dinner with us because she is waiting for father. As we (her children) went to bed, she patiently waited in the leaving room, sometimes dozing off only to be woken by her husband’s presence.They eat together as she inquired about his day and encouraged him. Mother remained behind to clear the table as father prepared for bed. Mother has always been the last one to bed and the first one up to make sure that we were all good and set for the day.
In my younger years, many men and women abstained from sex before marriage. It was socially unacceptable to experiment with sex, not even with one partner. It was shameful to even mention the word sex; it was one of those words that were talked in low tones. If you were of age, and a specific boy liked you or showed interest, he married you properly and spent the rest of his life doing what we now call dating, you most likely have seen how senior parents from their late 40s and above relate to each other, that is what I am referring to.
In those days, what we now call clubs were called discos. They were mostly attended by music lovers and not beer lovers. I can recall one of the stories our mother narrated to me how she liked taking ‘Fanta Kubwa’ and dancing to ‘twist music’ whenever she went to disco with our father. (Fanta is a common soft drink currently not associated with clubbing)
Beer was favorite with elderly men, mostly married men with children, men who had something serious to think about. Yes, men and not the youth competing on who can gallop the most alcohol, twerk and go home with a one-night partner in the name of dope night.
Young ladies stayed at home with their families, they had interesting things to talk about, experiences to share and games to play. They learned some major skills, made their own money and became respectable women in the society.
While I was growing up, girls knew better and were not known to date their grandfathers for easy wealth. They were also wary of contracting Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and mostly stayed away from risky sexual behaviors. Children were regarded as a blessing to the society, there were fewer incidences of abortions and mentions of quack doctors.
The society encouraged healthy competition, jealousy was rare, young people listened to their elder’s advice. We all understood the power of silence so we did our things silently and let the results show. But all that was in the analogue era, it is now the digital error, and things are quite different.
At present, the dress code for both young and mature ladies are so revealing with most almost walking nude for fashion sense. Everyone minds everyone’s business, even when it’s none of their business. Sex has become rampant; girls are now more afraid of pregnancy than they are of HIV/AIDS.
Bars and clubs are now filled with young girls who care very little about morals and know little about money. They think little is much, because it can be spent in a club, drinking silly and impressing their peers.
There are however good and admirable things about this digital generation, some of which have even been adopted by the older generation.
The best part of me is to have a digital version of myself, an image that even I seat and admire, my sister, you to whom I dedicate this letter.
My younger sister that must adapt to the digital era, dress trendy and still maintain some mystery, look beautiful and preserve moral and family values, talk wisely, be respectable and adorn all the good of the digital era.
It’s as though I was born to be an experiment so that there can be a masterpiece. So, I choose to be your experience, so that you may be my masterpiece.