Ninja wish turns into nightmare as the mask chokes, blinds me

Kwanele Ndlovu Singles Lane
Growing up to be a ninja is a big fantasy for children, which the writer also had, but now in adulthood and coronavirus age, it's proving hard to breathe and see with the mask on. /123RF
Growing up to be a ninja is a big fantasy for children, which the writer also had, but now in adulthood and coronavirus age, it's proving hard to breathe and see with the mask on. /123RF

I am an 80s kid. I grew up in awe of ninjas starring in movies and especially their attire. To me, ninjas were the ultimate fashion icons.

I would marvel at how regal the men looked in all-black apparel, and I would wear socks over my palazzo pants just to feel dangerous while playing in the backyard with my younger brother.

Back then, I imagined that living under a mask was the ultimate swag. My mother's scarves were not spared as we played dress-up for a few sparring matches with the wooden pins and brooms as our weaponry.

To add to my craze over ninjas, my father was a black belt and held random kick-ass classes for us in the garage. It felt as if I was a real-life little ninja ready to climb up the walls and stuff.

I would never have thought that one day, one fantasy would become a reality. Since the regulations around Covid-19 lockdown were relaxed a bit to level 4, I have been compliant.

You would think now that I can finally live my daily life behind a mask and bring my fantasies to life, I would be chuffed. I am not!

Firstly, I have been living in track pants and leggings for the past 43 days. Ninjas actually look like couture models. One glance at me, and you know for sure that our domestic help hasn't been here since the start of lockdown. If I even tried to go on a ninja mission, my enemies would pick up the "day four" scent of my pants from a mile.

I have been on and off treatment for anxiety for almost a decade. The scourge of Covid-19 makes me anxious and I need the mask to calm my nerves. The mask makes me anxious, and I need to breathe to calm my nerves. I would probably be the first ninja who reveals her own identity during a mission.

Then to add some comic relief to the jeopardy of the mask, I wear prescription spectacles. So, I wear a mask and basically blind myself from mist on my glasses. And so I take them off to wipe them, right after touching the mask to pull it off my nose so I can breathe.

I have come to accept that I was just not cut out to be a ninja. However, with almost everyone walking around wearing masks, I will need to always have my guard up.

There is the hard reality that one will fall victim to crime, and not even be able to describe the assailant. "Tall, with a pleated African print mask and blue gloves. He dropped his sanitiser ..." is about to be our new normal when reporting robberies. And I know for sure that I am not about to try and resist when someone demands that I handover my phone, lest they touch me.

I guess I will just throw the damn phone to them from the recommended social distance of one metre and try not to wipe tears off my eyes before sanitising my hands.

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