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When times are uncertain, people look for answers they said. While Kobe Bryant, dalgona coffee and fostering a dog are among the most Googled terms of 2020. My search bar has been full of ” How do I know I am?”. One of the bigger traits of my character traits have been questioned during the whole panoramic: Am I an introvert or an extrovert? 

Look at me, today, using big English words to qualify myself. I have discovered nuances in character by accident at school after being send on time-out every time I’d give my schoolmates a nickname. I was very good at it, focusing in details digging into the courses their struggled or exceeded in, parents/siblings physical appearance. By the time my agenda was filled with professors words for my parents, it was too late the nickname was already spread in the whole school.

Can I be blamed ? Around my people, one trait of character equals one whole human being –  no spaces left over for flows, variety. I have witnessed it so many times, my timid cousin was called muet. Family reunion, traumatised me. Our aunty will ask: “Tresor, how’s school?” Before he had the time to answer, somebody in the room would scream: “Don’t ask him questions – he is muet!”, somebody frying plantains far back in the kitchen be like “y’all still asking him questions? Don’t you understand he can’t talk? Does a muet ever talk back?!”  Myself, I was renamed ‘Bilanda landa’ in other words ‘the follower’. As soon as I would try to be involved in a conversation, they were like “Please, please! I don’t need headache today follow your siblings like you always do”. When I would do something they booed me off and add ‘you always copy anyway’.

So violent that it carries me all my today. I used to hunt every possible way to do and be different than others. It was all funny until I realise the core of that will born out of oppresion or ignorance, whatever.

As I type 96% of contacts are under nicknames on my phone, for mnemonic purpose. I won’t  blame the ones who attached a nickname on me but I would like to appologise to the ones I have hurt. A nickname can add a label to our being, it can be heavy wheither we put it on ourself or putting on others ; not sure which one is the heaviest. Since then, I am cursing people out with the sweetest names possible especially when my serial nicknamer nature resurfaces.

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