Written By Michael Afenfia
Dear Gen-Z Geh,
I don’t think it’s fair that you know my name and I don’t know yours. I also don’t think it’s fair that you know all those things about me and I know very little about you. Granted that what you might know or think you know of me are only the parts of my life I reveal in the 150-word bio on the sleeve of my books or things about myself I share on social media, still, there’s something there – my life as a writer and a few of my other passions.
You on the other hand share nothing personal on Instagram and Twitter. I wish you posted more photos of yourself, your job and your family. A part of me likes the mystery though, but there’s still that side of me that hates this kind of pursuit – if that is what it is. Is that what it is? If that is what it is, I don’t think I have the heart or hunger for it.
But is that what it is?
I have chased, I have never been chased so this is all new to me. Like you, I haven’t discussed “this thing” with anyone, but I imagine that when I do, my friends would laugh at me for being so out of touch with the real world and especially how you young generation folks do things these days and they won’t be wrong.
I know that my writing is based off of reality, but the writer in me is at liberty to stretch that reality and quite often I do. I take it way beyond its elastic limit until I create a reality in my head and in my heart that I and I alone feel comfortable in. It is my safe space.
By the way, I like that you call me Emoji Man. It’s such a cool name for someone who doesn’t consider himself cool. I like BBH, but because it sounds like the title of one of those never-ending American soaps I watched growing up, I’m thinking I’ll call you something else.
How does Gen-Z Geh sound? I know you’re thinking something like – “why Gen-Z when I am a millennial?” Well, to be honest, I don’t know either. I just think it has a nice ring to it. Besides, all those activist posts I see you make about climate change and the right to love who you love plus the books with weird titles you read and that one time you sent me a picture of the big car you drive reminds me of a Gen-Z girl.
Gen-Z Geh! I really want to call you that.
I have to go now. There’s this article about xenophobia I’m writing for a South African magazine I must finish tonight.
Please write again, the last one you wrote made my day. Write again and tell me more about your love for writing.