Smile Kenyan, Smile | Teen Ink

Smile Kenyan, Smile

January 20, 2009
By Anonymous

Smile Kenyan, Smile

When someone asks me who I am, I will always reply I am Kenyan. My identity is my personality. My life is the people around me, and I love it.

At birth, I was given the name of Isaac Wadria Chadri. Each name has its own unique meaning and effect on my life. Isaac stands for “loves to laugh” or “laughs a lot” and is driven from the Bible. According to my parents, I was always happy and laughing; I rarely cried or complained while I was a baby. Most of the time I was easy going and if you fed me anything, I would eat it. The first memory I have of being a child was me laughing. Laughing is like a reflex for me. I will laugh at the most random things, but it keeps me cool and always smiling. I do not know why but when I was about three years old, I just wanted to laugh and no one would make me laugh, so I decided to force myself to laugh. Picture an evil child laughing and then picture the voice and baby change to a baby rolling on the ground peacefully laughing. That is how I sounded, and believe me that was pretty awkward when my mom walked in on me. Isaac is also the son of Abraham, and so I try to live like him by being honest, faithful to a God, and a good son. My dad is from the Lubhara tribe in the northwest part of Uganda and that is where my middle name came from. Wadria means “taking and oath.” There are many ways to interpret the meaning, but I chose to take an oath to become the best person I can possible be; which is helpful, kind, true and remarkable. I am named after my father’s uncle. His uncle was smart, strong, resourceful and a kind hearted man. That is what my father expects me to be. My last name also comes from my father’s tribe and Chadri stands for “I have no heir.” This name was given to my father because the time at which she had him, she had had many kids who died and so when she finally had him she thought he would die and she would have no one succeed her so he named her that. That name has not taken full effect on me but I do not think I will get it till later in my life. Then again, at the age of fourteen is not the time a person would find themselves and who they are because the person hasn’t experienced everything in life and is still not wise or know much.

I have a personal rule and it’s to stay calm and smiling about all things. This rule came about when I realized that when I thought things too quickly, I would make costly mistake and when calm a better option would open up soon enough. Like when I played soccer, when rushing full throttle, I make mistakes that cost the game, but when I slow things down and calm things out, I can’t think of other ways to attack the situation. By staying calm and smiling, I am a very kind and easy person to talk to. Also being calm makes me think a lot so I don’t talk much. I have two faces, one is smiling and the other is a thinking face that often gets mixed up with me being mad or upset. Helping others is more important than helping myself. I believe that no matter the problem, don’t dwell on the negative, try to think on the positive side of it. Getting physical and fighting is something I try to avoid at all costs due to thoughts and emotions kept inside and if those get loose, there will be blood. My pet peeves are when people complain about things that are simple and when people get lazy. I guess being brought up in a culture where respect is a foundation and laziness is not tolerated gives me a different perspective of things. In my family in Africa, you are brought up to not question your parents and to respect them as well as your teachers. If not, you would get punishment by getting beaten and in most cases it works. Also the issue of whining when something hard is given is another thing I hate. It’s just me and being raised of taking things head on and not complaining, I tend to have a hatred for people who do that.

I am passionate about certain things in life like sports and the arts. They’re a part of me and I’m always doing some sport at any time. My favorite would be soccer, followed by rugby, and then football. Wrestling is something I do to keep me fit. Music is me and I am music. It’s always either in my head or in my ears. I do everything to music and in my head when I’m playing a sport a song pops up for each situation. In wrestling and football I play/wrestle to the beat of fast rap songs, which pump my blood up. The song in my head change to the mood I’m in, so if I’m depressed a song like about heartbreak or a song like “Don’t Matter” by Akon can uplift me. Art and cooking are my favorite past times. I rarely get time to do both during the week but the weekend is when I’m free and can draw what I feel/see and cook exotic dishes. I can cook lots of /African food and a lot of Asian food also. Baking is something I work on but not perfect at it.

I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and was raised there till I was nine years old. I cam here in 2003 and lived in America ever since. It is a gift living here, but a pain to away from my home. At one point, one is going to have to pick between one or the other, but that is not to be decided until later. It’s not the time and I haven’t experienced enough to make that decision. Teenage life is a confusing mess and an effort to find yourself, but that doesn’t truly happen till later in life, sometimes it doesn’t come to you till you are about to die. So for now, I am Kenyan.

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