The moment you are done with school and you finally put your small bundle of books neatly away (we all know that we burn our books after school but this column is parent-sensitive). Yes, after school, one usually neatly puts away the bundle of books that has seen them through the exams. The young person in question usually starts to think about looking for a job. All adults at this point in time tell that person “Welcome to the real world”. Many a friend have wondered what ‘The real world’ is. Wonder no more. I present to you, in broad daylight, what adults mean whenever they use that phrase.

Taxi Conductors

When you were still school, you were young and you looked so innocent. Taxi conductors would give you all your change back. You are not in school anymore. ‘The real world’ means that when you give a taxi conductor money, he will take Shs500 more than he ought to. Get used to it. Or learn how to let out a battle cry so loud and vile, he hurls your money at you and begs for forgiveness while screaming at the taxi driver to speed off. You may want to watch Shaka Zulu three times to get this right.

Club entrance fee

You can no longer be at Club entrances before midnight to be let in for free. In the ‘real world’, you always pay to enter a club. If you ask a girl to come along and she comes with seven of her friends, you have to pay for them too.


Back in school, you could throw tantrums and lock yourself in your room because your parents refused to buy you the latest Barbie doll. You’d refuse to eat food till they came cooing at your door, tail between their legs, Barbie doll in hand. In the ‘real world’, you answer to a landlord. You have to pay him/her a hefty sum of money every month and hide your vehicle lest he/she gets tempted to increase the rent. You also can only refuse to eat when there’s no money for food. The finances decide when you’ll eat and when you’ll paint colorful images of food in your mind and go to sleep.


That student identity card you used to whip out whenever stopped by the police is of no use anymore. Back then, in the random event that you did bad things punishable by law, chances are you’d end up in some juvenile detention center. In the ‘real world’, you’ll end up in a real jail cell with murderers, pedophiles, goat thieves and people-who-didn’t-do-it.

 Published on October 30, 2011

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