Why I smile harder than anyone else I meet


I wouldn’t say I was bullied in high school, no! I wasn’t. Actually bullies feared me and I don’t know why, up to now I can’t figure it out but there is a particular part on my body that was picked on a lot and it made me feel so bad about myself.

In my school there was a man they nicknamed Wanta, a name after the canteen he worked at. The canteen name was coined after a none teachers association (Wanyange none teaching staff association) so Wanta was an acronym for that canteen.

Now this young man had a well defined face with high cheek bones he didn’t have to smile to take a great photo, Wanta was photo perfect.

In fact, in these top model times we live in, Wanta would have been Tyra Bank’s muse from Uganda.

wanta 2

The year was 2001 and 13 year old me joined Wanyange girl’s school. By that time I didn’t know I had any flaws because in my primary school we didn’t know better.

Before I even laid my bed, I was smiling sheepishly as I mused about my new surroundings and I heard a group of girls scream out Wanta, this Muyuka (fresher) has Wanta’s. I looked at them and just frowned not until I met Wanta.

Short dark skinned young man with cheek bones pressing against his face like escaping his body would be a much needed relief for them.

But there they were stuck on his face. The more I looked at him the more I envisioned my Wanta’s. They were so real it was even hard for me to ignore them. I touched my young adolescent face, pimpleless as always but it had something that Wanyange girls found funny.

I wanted to just bury myself and if I could, I would have called out my Ninja Mother to lash at them or beat them up but she was miles away and I had to deal with my Wanta’s at the same time deal with my emotions.


Within the first months I hated myself not because I found Wanta ugly, no! Not at all because 13 year old me didn’t even know there were ugly people. I just hated the fact that certain girls made fun of my original. I wasn’t like them my face was never built to be flat and that weren’t my problem.

But none of them saw it like that. I hated smiling and I always made sure I covered my face with my hands before I laughed at something funny. I just didn’t want anyone to make fun of my Wanta’s.

When I went home for my first term holidays my mother noticed the trend and she asked me why I covered my face and I told her what the girls said. She tried to help me by predicting how beautiful a woman I would grow up to become.

But try telling that to a 13 year old adolescent who is in a school with older girls who made it a point to remind her of her unwanted flaws.

I spent 6 years of my life hiding and when I was finally out of there I started building my esteem and vowed to display my Wanta’s.

Thanks to facebook now my Wanta’s can be seen world over and people always comment on my pictures pointing out how my Wanta’s made my smile look so authentic.

When they comment nice smile, I always ensure to smile back in the background of whatever I view the comment from because no one had a right to make fun of my Wanta’s.

Today I just felt like calling out everyone that has an insecurity, guys let’s all display our Wanta’s….can I hear an Amen from you guys.

Let’s make a pact to show the world our Wanta’s and let them know that we are not going to hate ourselves anymore because Jane or Nancy find our bodies weird.

Weird should be the new cool.

What are your Wanta’s and how are you embracing them today share with me.



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