A letter to the young brothers


It has been customary for eons, in many cultures, that an older man take a younger man under his wing and teach him the way of the world. Normally this is done by his father. However, in the absence of a father or a father who is either swamped by the hardship of life, or one who lacked deep knowledge and experience,  the job of passing on life’s lessons to the young man, became the duty of a selected elder. In west Afuraka, he is called a jegna. A honorific that is embraced seriously. White people call such a teacher a mentor, however, for Afurakans in the know, a mentor has a sinister past, as it was the name of the elder who Odysseus commissioned to teach and prepare his young son for adulthood, while he went galavanting all over the seas. As was customary in early Hellenic culture, an older adult preparing a young boy for adulthood,  is allowed to take the boy away into the wilderness for a few weeks and as his reward, ritually sodomizes him.

Never the less, the spirit of passing on life’s lessons seemed to be around for a long time, untill it became outdated in modern “sophisticated” time. Now boys are  expected to gain experience  through trial and error. Like Aesop’s tales, life’s lessons are best inculcated when the jegna conveys the lessons in a story. And many parts of Afuraka today, the best lessons are conveyed through story telling with musical accompaniment. Some of the best of the modern story tellers come from the small Island of Trinidad and the best stories are told via calypso. Calypso music is not just party music, but philosohy and education with steel pan beat  and lots of double entendres and hidden meanings. Occasionally the teacher will discard all that subtlety to make the lesson as clear as clear can be.

Calysonian legend, Mighty Shadow tells a tale and passes on deep nuggets of gold in his song Looking for Horn. Horn is a local term describing when a man or a woman gets cheated on.  Here Shadow recounts an incident where a young man infatuated with a young woman, turn to the elder for advice. As Shadow tells the story…

A young man
Asked for my opinion
About a lady
He want to marry
You working? No
You joking? No
You stealing?
No You dealing? No

You looking for horn, plenty, plenty horn, boy
You looking for horn, you going to get horn, boy
Why you want to marry? You don’t have no money
You ent working nowhere You don’t have a pay day
You think it’s so the thing does work
You think it’s so I wish you luck
Without money to buy honey
You’re headin’ for misery
She want hairdo and callaloo
And you ent have nothing

Somebody will horn you
You better believe it
Somebody will horn you
I hope you can take it, partner

Young fella
I think you should consider Oh yeah
Employment
Before enjoyment
You learn trade? No
You have good grade? No
You’re a smart man? No
A magician? No

You looking for horn, you going to get horn, boy
You looking for horn, plenty, plenty horn, boy
Why you want to marry? You don’t have no money
You ent working nowhere You don’t have a pay day
You think it’s so the thing does work
You think it’s so I wish you luck

You must assume she want perfume
And good things to consume
You say she nice
But take advice: She must want some hot rice

Somebody will horn you
You better believe it
Somebody will horn you
I hope you can take it, partner

Godfather
I must marry Rosita Oh yes
She’s so pretty
She looks so sexy

You working? No
You joking? No
You crazy? No
You lazy? No

You looking for horn, you going to get horn, boy
You looking for horn, plenty, plenty horn, boy
Why you want to marry? You don’t have no money
You ent working nowhere You don’t have a pay day
You think it’s so the thing does work
You think it’s so I wish you luck

Friday evening people passing with box of fried chicken
She watching you in your old shoe
She feeling to hit you
Somebody will horn you
You better believe it
I hope you could take it partner

Such a simple piece of advice. Something i learned late in life, as one of the many who was expected to figure shit out via trial and error. That a man must chase excellence instead of woman. Whether through employment or better still through creating a business, the bottom line is a young man must build a legacy of excellence that will attract not just any female, but a woman who he must be wise enough to have as his support and help mate. Otherwise she will be a burden to him and he will be a joke to her. Employment before enjoyment is the realest thing one can pass on to both a young woman and man. No broke as dude should be looking to hook up with a young woman and no young woman should be giving a broke ass dude the time of the day. Because more than anything, the lack of this kind of security, financial security, will make somebody get horn