North is a direction, but in Namibia ‘the North’ is a place. Let me illustrate with a simple conversation.
Petrus: “Anditi…Simoni, where are you from?”
Simon: “I’m from the North.”
Petrus: “Where in the North?”
Petrus: “Ohoo… Do you know Johannes?”
Let me cut this short. Simon is going to ask, “Which Johannes?” and Petrus will specify, and the conversation will drag on. It will end up being longer than the distance between Omuthiya and Ondangwa. Which I swear is five times longer in real life than it is on a map. It takes an average of 6 – 8 hours to travel from Windhoek to the North, 2 hours of that time will be spent dodging donkeys, goats, and even ghosts.
But, perhaps the most dangerous thing in that corridor are the Northern drivers. They drive like coloured people play music, excessively! I was in the North when I had my latest epiphany. “Eat your youth,” said the little voice in my head. The two other little voices replied by nodding their heads whilst sipping ice tea.
While you’re still young, let your hair down (*unties dreadlocks) and enjoy yourself. Because, unlike the Swapo Party Youth League definition, real youth only lasts until your early thirties. Eat your youth, my friends. Do it with the enthusiasm of Jacques Burger diving into a tackle. If you’re next to someone who isn’t doing much with their youth, then ask nicely and eat a bit of their youth as well.
Now, before you all go off and start engaging in reckless behaviour under the pretence that I encouraged it, let’s put some limits on youth eating. Unlike presidential terms in West Africa, there are certain constraints on youth eating.
Clandestine relations with people old enough to be your parents is not youth eating, the only Blesser you need is the one above. Irresponsible sexual activity is not youth eating, that’s suicide! Knocking back drinks till your dinner comes back up, uhm… Okay, technically, it qualifies as youth eating, like literally. But driving while smelling like a brewery isn’t, especially when you don’t own the car, and aren’t even sure if it’s insured. Driving a Golf GTI is not youth eating, because GTI’s are just VW Polo’s that went to private school.
So, eat your youth. Dance Quadradinho, so hard that you dislocate your knee cap. Eat your youth. Jump out of an airplane, but make sure you’re wearing a parachute first. Eat your youth. Have a cake for lunch, have wine for dinner. Eat your youth. Have a second spoon of potato salad, even when an angry bridesmaid is throwing flames at you for not respecting the ‘no self-service’ rule. Like really now? How do you expect me to come to a wedding and not have potato salad? Who hurt you? Eat your youth. Break the nothing-constructive-happens-after-midnight rule and end up sleeping on the back of a bakkie. Eat your youth. Emigrate with your Caucasian ‘bae’ and have mixed raced babies. Eat your youth. Go on that trip overseas, that one that will leave you so broke that you’ll be eating mahangu pap and Lucky Star for a month straight. Eat your youth, go get that second degree, while you still have brain cells to spare. Like Shakespeare never said, “Indulge oneself occasionally and consume thy youth.”
There is a time for everything, and the time for everything is when you’re young, when you’re older there is only time for some things. So, what I am basically saying is: eat your youth within the aforementioned limits, and grow up. Or else, you’ll be that creepy 40-year- old in the club, surrounded by teenagers, because all your peers are at home raising families.
Till next time: flourish, and stay out of trouble.