Maybe you’ve read that title and are wondering what it means. You’re wondering if this website got some lazy, entitled rogue who doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own life to write this. You’re wondering if it’s just something sensationalist to get you to click on the article. Clickbait really.


Maybe the writer had a troubled childhood, perhaps some trauma they’re struggling to deal with that they are now dumping on readers on the internet. Is there any point in reading this at all? Maybe you’re not wondering at anything, in which case you are empty-headed and dull.


Listen up for a minute or five. Don’t let the title fool you, staying a kid doesn’t mean staying irresponsible and carefree. It doesn’t mean shirking your obligations. It doesn’t mean not wanting to grow up and take life by its horns. That’s not it at all. We’re talking about something a little different here.


There was a conversation that was had between two Kenyans, about Kenyans (and by extension Africans), and they way we live our lives. Perhaps you’ve heard of Top Gear. It used to be presented by three men who got up to a lot of idiotic stuff while presenting it, then they left and got up to more idiotic stuff presenting The Grand Tour. They look like they have such a fun time doing what they do.


In the aforementioned conversation, it was mentioned that if you were to act like they do, as a guy, a well put together and forward-thinking woman (ostensibly one you’d be romantically interested in) wouldn’t take you seriously.


Why is that the case? It clearly isn’t the case for them, because they’ve managed to find women who took them seriously. Maybe the issue lies in our culture and the way we see things. Older people in western countries and cultures get up to some idiocy every now and then. Idiocy occurs a lot in younger people (as with everywhere else in the world), but even in middle-aged and older people.


They sometimes do things an African might think people their age wouldn’t or perhaps shouldn’t do, like playing pranks on each other. Sure, there are limits to it, but it isn’t such a big deal. Things aren’t the same in Africa.


Our culture puts an emphasis on growing up. There’s a bunch of reasons for this, which we won’t get into. But the idea of having some childish fun as an adult? It isn’t something our culture encourages. People don’t take you seriously if you don’t “act your age”. An adult shouldn’t be doing some things or acting some type of way.


I think that needs to change. It already is. Younger generations are having a little more fun than older ones did. They also care far less about what people think and are more “shameless”. But why does it need to change? I think that the effects of diminishing so-called child-like behaviour can sometimes be more negative than positive.


I think too that we end up enjoying life far less than we would if said societal norms weren’t a thing. I think we’d be happier if we had the freedom to get up to some idiocy every now and then without harsh judgement. Here’s another thought, and this is where there might be the biggest effect: our entertainment would be more wholesome and in fact of better quality than it is now.


We clamour for people to celebrate and embrace their own and the art they put out, but we also have those who say the art isn’t worth giving any attention to. Sometimes it’s just haters hating, but sometimes you have to agree with the sentiment that our art isn’t up to par with some of the foreign content we consume.


Yes, that’s for different reasons and not just a lack of creativity or ability, but perhaps our attitude towards “childishness” has something to do with it. Ever wondered why some of what we have on TV, especially what’s meant for children, is so bad?


I wonder if one reason for that is that the people who create that content can’t relate with their inner child or get into the minds of children enough to make content that gets kids (and their parents) excited. The content also has to have nuances and detail so we know it was an adult that came up with it and not a child.


So sometimes the content is lacking in quality while other times the content is trash and can’t be saved by glossy visuals and a fire soundtrack. This isn’t a problem that the developed world struggles with too much. Look at the cartoons and animations we watch from there. An adult came up with the silliness that is Tom and Jerry. For more mature audiences, adults also came up with Rick & Morty. And you can be hard-pressed to find an anime that doesn’t have a complete idiot as one of its characters, if they aren’t the main character already.



On the ground, things aren’t actually different. Art is often a reflection of society and what’s going on in it. We see videos on social media and online of white people doing silly and crazy things all the time. While some of them are on the extreme end of things, they reflect a culture of allowing people to do what they want to and have fun with it.


If it’s jumping into a lake in the middle of winter for kicks, go ahead and do it. If it’s running down the road outside your house in underwear at midnight because you lost a dare, those are the consequences of losing bro. Think of all the “Me and the boys” videos. Are there any done by Africans or with Africans in them? And that’s Africans living in Africa, not black Americans.

There's supposed to be a cool image here
Be out there. Be silly.

Perhaps when you watch those videos you see grown men (women can’t be found being so idiotic) being childish, but maybe we should see them having fun. That’s not to say we should allow men or women to abscond from their duties and responsibilities and act childishly or inappropriately. But we should allow them to have fun with life. We should allow people to take life a little less seriously and let their inner child come out to play every once in a while.

It’s good for people’s well-being, but it might also do wonders for our art and creativity. And we don’t need to copy the west to do it, we have our own sense of fun right here.