Picture this: you are selectively talkative, you are quite disciplined, you occasionally go to church, you don’t have an old sponsor yet, you don’t do sheesha and above all your sexual orientation is approved in Africa. You are stupid as hell and completely crazy. But when someone says they like your voice, you suddenly get startled, defensive and conscious. You prefer chatting to talking on the phone. You claim you are comfortable with written but not spoken. You simply hate your voice and hate to be heard, orally.
As I grew up, I always wondered why my voice was deeper and huskier than all other girls. I thought I needed surgery. Of the voice box, larynx, throat. Something was wrong. I was in a fix. I started thinking that I was supposed to be a boy and so I really didn’t do too much girl things and preferred to be with the boys. For this reason, my best friend was a guy, for quite a long time until a good girl came to my rescue. My confusion became worse when we learnt in class 6 that when you are in adolescence stage, the boys’ voice break because the Adam’s apple matures. As Madam Catherine explained the various changes in adolescents, I became too depressed. Goodness gracious me! That was it! My voice had broken! I was a boy. I was not a girl! I looked at the teacher, puzzled, confused, lost… I was broken. The whole class burst out laughing when she said only boys’ voices break and some naughty boy said one girl’s voice had broken. Of course he paid dearly as he was always on the noisemakers’ list henceforth.
You know this voice is quite unique. Not like that of a nightingale or something. But unique is an amusing manner. It is never loyal, always betraying me. I mean when I speak, people turn. Not because the point am making is good, amazing or something, but because they want to confirm my gender. My other problem is women getting attracted to me (am not a tom-boy, just this damn deep voice). Surely, am straight ladies. Hahaa that sounded weird. Am now used to being described as ule dame wa bass. Of course that’s a non-issue. But my biggest problem with this voice is I can’t whisper. I just vibrate. In a meeting, gossiping… I always get loud. Look at me now, am stuck in a serious meeting. I want to tell someone something. This point is eating me up. I want to say something. I need to talk or else I will explode. I can’t hold this anymore. Am feeling suffocated. I need to speak, whisper or just produce a sound. I want to tell Ruth Ndeto that I know what we will eat for supper and that the word we were looking for yesterday is “picturesque” and that the yellow box was not reaching university way.
But as I grew up I came to realize I was not a special case that needed surgery. We are many. Toni Braxton, Bahati Bukuku, Ruth Matete and that lady in Mamou, Franco’s song. Well, you see they are singers. But I can write their lyrics. Anyone else, maybe?