Nairobi News


BLOG: Why looking younger than you actually are is not always such a good thing

My mum has always looked good for her age, so much so that she doesn’t look her age. She looks like she’s in her early to mid-forties. According to her she is 28 years old so it’s not up to me to divulge her age, but she had me when she was truly 28, more than a quarter of a century ago.

She has always prided herself for looking way younger than she is and has even won money off doubting Thomases. I seem to have gotten this trait from her as people tend to think that I am at least five years younger than I actually am.

Looking younger than you are can be very beneficial but also a curse. For my mother, it works in her favour as she gets to look like she had her kids while she was a teenager. She looks too young to be a grandmother and mother-in-law. I, on the other hand, have come to resent my youthful appearance as it seems not to be helping me at all.


We recently moved to a new house and quite a few repairs have to be made before it’s absolutely perfect. I made a careful note of all the things that needed to be done and let the agents in charge of the house know about them.

When the repair guy came to fix things, he did not seem interested in what I had to say, but only listened to the directions given to him by the agent or my husband. This was when I realized that people have been looking down on me because I look too young.

Being mistaken for a young girl and being treated as such may not be the worst thing. Once as I was walking home, a girl of about twenty with a guy I suspect to be her boyfriend were walking along the same little road when a lady, a neighbor, in a white Toyota Mark X hooted for them to get out of her way. The girl wondered why my neighbor was so proud, yet the car was obviously a gift from a ‘sponsor’. How she knew this, I have no idea.

How often do we judge people without getting to know them first and only based on our first impression of them? I know I am guilty of judging people too quickly on first sight, without even getting to know them or trying to understand their situations.


There is a young man who appears to be Ethiopian who has accosted me on several occasions near the Chicken Inn at the junction of Moi Avenue and asks for food. Out of all the people who cross the road at that spot, how he manages to single me out of the crowds I do not know.

But I always wonder why he can’t look for a job to feed himself; after all, I am heavily pregnant and still making my way to the office daily while he is a young man who is strong and can do even menial jobs, if the worst comes to the worst.

In retrospect, I am just as guilty as the repair man who wouldn’t listen to me or the girl who thinks my neighbour’s car was a gift from her sponsor. I should hear him out and find out why he is in that situation in the first place.

For now, I will revel in the fact that I look like a school girl who got cheated and found herself in the family way and be glad that I might look 35 when I’m actually 50.