It was wild cheers and laughter after Asumpta blew out the candles. She was 21 years old and out to conquer the world. She had been waiting to turn 21 for the past three years. She felt like she was now a woman. She was in her final year at campus majoring in nothing particular, it was a cocktail of interests she patched together to form a degree. Asumpta was all about exploring and trying out new things.
Her mum had promised her that when she turned 21 she would finally be able to go skydiving. Asumpta could not wait. Mum had bought the tickets and they would be off in a month’s time once the semester had drawn to a close. Asumpta was beside herself. She had bungee-jumped, hiked up Mt. Kilimanjaro, abseiling, kite surfing; she needed to try something new, something to give her a new rush.
Asumpta was always a precocious child; asking the unusual questions in class. Shaka Zulu obsessed her for one reason or the other. She had planned to go to Southern Tanzania where the kingdom had once extended to during his reign. She had heard that there were some Tanzanians with Zulu names and she wanted to see them for herself, live in those rural areas and find out what they knew before she left for Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa.
“The home of the Zulus”, Asumpta said to herself as she lay in her bed that evening, she had an impish smile on her face as she repeated it. There was a knock on the door. Asumpta’s daydream was cut short.
“Who is it?”
Asumpta hopped out of bed and unlocked her bedroom door.
“Can I come in?”
“You are a woman know, you need your privacy I need to ask.” She laughed Asumpta rolled her eyes.
“Yeah! Right! Not until I move out will you really give me the privacy I need. What’s up Mama?”
“I just got off the phone with your Aunt Miriam. She is coming over next week. She says she has something she wants to share with you. She didn’t tell me on the phone, she says it was too important to be relayed on phone.” Mum shrugged her shoulders, kissed Asumpta on the forehead and bid her good night once again, closing the door behind her.
Asumpta tossed and turned all evening wondering what it was about. The last conversation she recalled having with her Aunt was about going on a trip round the world, with focus on specific historically relevant locations up North in Lake Turkana, to South Africa, Turkey, Rome, Athens, and if things calmed down; Egypt for starters. Aunt Miriam had promised to match her savings and top up on the deficit for the trip. Could that be it?
But then again Aunt Miriam had also mentioned something about womanhood, traditions and customs, blah! Blah! Blah! Asumpta ignored it and pushed the conversation to her tour of the world.