Overcoming the Stigmatization of the Campus Lady

By Monica Otieno

Niaje msupa”. We all are familiar with this kind of greeting. It’s only in campus where you encounter men from all walks of life till you begin questioning their morals and perhaps whoever taught them how to tie their shoe laces. You will, in most cases attempt to ignore this greeting but what follows wouldn’t possibly be something one hears in a civilized conversation today. Welcome to the new generation!

The first weeks in campus were all exciting, the senior male students “fisi-ting” late in the night. In my first year days it was called “ponyoka na fresha!” This bold men always had a way of getting into an innocent lady’s head so that you think up is down and wrong is right but that lasted for a short while. I could see many of my friends getting tuned in so fast I began to wonder whether I was alright but mama’s advice made me stronger. She used to say to me every morning back then before campus that boys will always be boys and that for a lady to succeed she has to compromise a list of things, luxury.

What most of us think of when we get to campus is freedom and not its consequences. Campus isn’t easy especially with those naughty boys around. The reason I call them boys is, from what mama said, men make efforts to keep to their commitments, men respect women, men wear suits and have a good sense of language. Men most certainly don’t toggle with women’s hearts or feelings unlike campus boys. The list is too big I’m afraid I wouldn’t finish my read.

gradBeing a lady is terribly difficult since it consists principally in dealing with men. However, the campus lady is a strong woman who doesn’t need a relationship. She is a woman who knows no bounds, tough and vigilant. She is a lady brought up by a strong woman back in the village and one certainly meant to pursue her dreams. I am a little more intrigued by the single campus ladies because for one, nobody knows the pain they’ve been through and the costly decisions they’ve made in their fine campus days. This type of lady is very special in some unimaginable way. She is uncommonly rare and more beautiful because she knows how to unapologetically be herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. I do not mean to say that those in a relationship aren’t great ladies, of course they are! Dealing with that package isn’t easy.

I cannot fail to talk about how campus men feel comfortable in their pants below their bottoms and can’t stand that lady in shorts. It’s always about sexualizing the female body. A lady passes a group of men and all you get are hisses as though there’s no name for this lady. To them it’s always about how “hot” this lady looks. You would be surprised “sportspesa” is not the only bet they engage in. It’s amusing how men will go to the extremes to bet on who takes her to bed first. This is absurd right? Another reason I call them boys.

What follows in most cases is rape and the excuse is that “she” provoked the man with her dressing. This is it boys, a lady should not be stopped from wearing shorts, skirts, tank tops or strapless shirts in hot weather. Instead, male students should be taught not to over-sexualize the female body. I don’t think a girl’s thighs, legs, shoulders, bra straps or stomach should be distracting. Dress code only emphasizes the idea that girls should cover up because boys will always be boys. What a girl wears has nothing to do with her intelligence or self-respect; I detest the rules that enforce rape culture, we should all keep our society in place.

Many have gone through worse than you can possibly imagine. The secret is to believe and forgive yourself, for the poor decisions you make in campus inspire you. Do not be that lady who waits on others to get to your dreams, be free minded! Campus is more like a preparatory school for the big life out there so yeah, it’s alright to make mistakes but it’s not right to live on them. Be that kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the world is threatened by your potential.

The campus lady has faced rejection and intimidation from the people around her so that she is always afraid to try something new. She is mostly worried about what people will say and what if she fails. Do not worry yourself anymore for gone are the olden days when a woman was not to be heard. Ask yourself this question, “what if I fall? But darling, what if you fly?”

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