The Servant

“I’m sorry, sweetheart. You are the eldest, therefore you must serve the guests.”

I never really questioned the principal of serving the elders when I was younger. It was a part of my culture. All of my siblings were able to either leave the house, or lock themselves in their rooms while dozens of guests were filling up the living space. And as per normal, I didn’t have a choice: I must prepare the meals and the tea, and cater to everyone.

“She must be the eldest. How are you, my dear? Can I get more tea?”

I really don’t mind serving the guests of my parents. But I must ask the question: When will it be okay for the brothers to serve? Why is it okay to ask personal questions about me simply because I am the eldest girl?

“You made a delicious meal. Your future husband will be very proud.”

I don’t like cooking, though.

Surely, this is a common issue in an African household. Should we just be quiet and continue our roles as the female caterer? I would never be able to say no to my parents.

I just have to play the part. For the culture.

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