This Competitive Streak…

My mathematics teacher once told my mum, ” if people are overcrowded in a matatu stage, and a bus comes, Mercy will not fight for it with the rest. She will stand and let them compete for the few spaces.” My mother was very concerned by that statement, she kept on prodding me about it. While I on the other hand, never saw what was wrong with what the teacher had described. I mean, he was correct that I wouldn’t fight for anything or at least most things, and two, I didn’t see why on earth I should. 

Its called the competitive streak. Everyone seems to have it except me. And that has of late made me start to wonder whether its me who is weird or its them. But for sure, I’m the odd one out in this case if almost all my friends are anything to go by. Hadi I’m starting to ask myself a thousand and one questions. 

I have a close classmate who I didn’t hear the end of it when she got 15 out if 15 in a Cat, while I got a 14 out of 15. Like it was such a big deal. And its not just her, even other classmates. Were we in primary or high school where we were being graded and positioned as a bunch, I would have understand their excitement( or maybe not), but in campus, even if we all got the same grade, it wouldn’t make an impact anywhere. So why the excitement? 

I also have another friend who at times I avoid playing a certain game with . One, she is better than me. Going by the fact that she is even the one who taught me. Which means that she wins most of the games when we play. In case you are wondering why I still play over and over with her despite that, I always want to make myself better. But she will have a celebratory dance after every win. So you can imagine me seated there as you celebrate 5times in an hour over beating me yet the one or two times I beat you I’m quiet about it. 

What is it with people and winning? As in sincerely thinking about it, don’t you think its a little evil of you to celebrate that your friends are below you? Like I’m so happy nimeingia mat mbele ya hawa watu( going by my teachers example). Does winning make you better than other people? How does defeating someone make you feel? That you are better off than them or me? More brilliant or intelligent? Okay, let us assume that you actually are, what difference does it make? I mean , personally I long ago accepted that there will forever be someone more intelligent than me and someone I’m more intelligent than. And that applies to everything, wealth, beauty etc. 

This is me trying to understand some aspect that I just don’t have that everyone else seems to have. Do I celebrate victories? By all means yes. But I remember celebrating the fact that I passed KCPE with me only in mind. Like God had blessed the work of my hands and I had gotten good enough marks to take me to a good high school. I didn’t think of it in terms of, ” I have defeated thousands of students or even my classmates”. In simple terms, I celebrate things in relation to me and me only. I get happy when my effort pays off. Like I was among the happiest people when our High School improved or led in the national charts. In my heart, I always believed that going by the brains collected there and the investment made to those girls, we could surely do better each time. Not in relation to others but going by our standards. 

But trying to make sense of this has proved quite futile. Like I just can’t wrap my head round to competition and how it works and makes people feel and act. A close friend whom I raised this subject with thought it was because I have majorly been on the other side of the scale. The number one that people were told to beat, the disciplined girl my town mates were told to emulate and etc. Does that hold water? Is my lack of this competitive streak shared by all or most of the people who were the standard measure at some point of their lives? If it is, then it explains it all. If its unique to me that leads to further questions.

Like, are these victory dances over beating me in anything concerned with who I am and act to be in anyway? Like why on earth did that friend celebrate getting a 15 over my 14 but didn’t celebrate over another friend who had a 10? Yet it would have made more sense.  What is it about me that makes people get over the moon about defeating me in anything? And why don’t they celebrate as much when they beat others? How do I make people feel about themselves? Or about myself? To the extent that they dance over getting anything right over me?  Who do people see me as or think I am that gets them high to see me under them? Because if this has anything to do with me, I’m beginning to think I inspire the opposite of confidence in people that beating me makes them regain that confidence. Which is surely not a good thing. 

Or is it about them and not me? Like it just so happens that almost all my friends just have this competitive thingie in them that comes out when they beat me in anything. I used to ignore it, thinking that maybe people were raised like that, to celebrate only when you are above others. But it has become too prevalent until I am rethinking the reasons I ascribed to that behaviour. Its like there is no one else out there whose standard measure is themselves besides me. Everyone is sort of in a race to reach somewhere before others and in this case before me. While I am in a walk to make myself a better person in everything. 

What do you think? Why do you celebrate when you defeat someone? Or when someone is below you in anything?( if you don’t I would loove to be your friend). Isn’t that a ka-evil spirit to be so happy, not because you deserve it but simply because others are not there with you but are below you or behind you? What does winning do to your insides? Because I sincerely want to understand this thing. What does being better than others mean to you? Is it that important to your existence? Like if you didn’t defeat me or anyone else for that matter in your whole life, would your existence still have value to you? Would you still think of yourself as important? 

And finally, this competitive streak..where can I buy it from?  


  1. Nice observation. Sometimes the excitement of winning can overwhelm some people. But sometimes when one gets used to winning they stop celebrating, unless ni those special cases of saddists.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wangio Wanyika says:

    Trying to understand people will take forever. .you just have to treat them according to your utmost maturity. ITs about them and not you..personally i celebrate that ive done my best and not becauseim on top of someone…Ujue shida ni wao

    Liked by 1 person

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