Sharon Mapoka | University of Zimbabwe
4 minute read
My name is Sharon Mapoka. I’m a 19-year old Zimbabwean girl living with a rare height. I’m 6 feet 3 that is 1,94m. I’m a model.
I love pageantry because I have a great height.
I’m a basketball player. I’m proudly tall.
Not forgetting I’m family oriented. I’m currently studying Social Work.
I’m just a girl who is chasing her dreams. All thanks to my friends in all social media for supporting my dream. I have faced a lot of difficulties as a tall girl.
Insensitive people really made my life hell especially in high school.
Sometimes I wished there was a way I could get shorter, Height Reduction Surgery perhaps.
I then met a friend who has become a sister to me. Miss Gladys Mwedzi.
She advised me to be myself, she taught me self-love and motivated me to become the Queen that I am today. Being extraordinarily tall comes with more of hardships than benefits.
I remember at school my history teacher used to refer to me as the Conical Tower found at Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
It was painful because people would laugh at me, I had to live with it. I was just a student so yeah there was nothing I could do. I have been called too tall.
People asking me why I’m this tall, as if I created myself. Only God has the reason to why he made me so! From being called ‘tower light’, tallest object, lighting conductor such was my life growing up. I think people should stop constantly making fun of my height.
Yes am tall, God made me so and I really like it like that. People should just learn to live with it and accept me for who I am.
SHOPPING FOR SHOES AND CLOTHING IS A STRUGGLE
As a tall girl shopping for clothing is a pain. Basically every pair of Jeans I own stops way above my ankles.
All thanks to the turn up trend, I wear my jeans that way. Dresses are always too short for me, the painful part is that those that fit are not nice most of the time. Not to mention my shoes.
I started having shoe size problems when I was doing form two. Since then I don’t remember owning a proper pair of shoes.
And recently I had to quit Miss Tourism Zimbabwe because I could not find stilettos that fit my foot.
I always wear these leather slippers made by the men in the street pavements.
Sometimes I envy other girls. How they rock heels, pumps e.t.c. I wish God sees me through so that one day I also get to own good shoes like everyone else.
It’s frustrating when heels are just what you need to compliment an outfit but you can’t wear them because you don’t own even a pair.
So as I grew up most people used to say where will you find a partner of your height. This eventually became one of my greatest fears growing up, not being able to find a partner because of being too tall. And I still have the fear, wondering if I’ll ever find someone my height.
My Jamaican friend Miss Adrienne Bailey who is 6 feet flat also has the same fear. I have since
realized that it is a fear most tall girls have. Yes nowadays its normal for a girl to be taller than her partner. So, yeah, when I see a couple with this girl being taller I feel motivated.
But still it is this general thinking that the guy should be taller.
BEING THE TALLEST ALMOST EVERYWHERE I GO IS A PAIN
At school I was the tallest. I would feel out of place especially during assembly time. I tower over people when am standing but now I don’t care as much about it as I did then.
I hate attention but my height just brings more and more of it. It’s just hard to be tall. It’s a struggle to even go to town because you’ll know your height will call a lot of attention.
Well, in conclusion all I can say is that I have learnt to live with my height. I wish people would be kinder with their words and be aware of how badly they are affecting others by labeling them.
I may have stopped growing in height, but I will continue to grow to love my height and to love myself for who I am. I’m just perfect as I am.
And finally growing to be comfortable with my height makes me super excited. I thank my parents for this awesome height as I believe it’s going to take me places. They are both tall by the way. There are a lot of things to love about being majestically tall.
My heart hurts though because no matter how hard I try to make people understand my height. Some won’t stop trying me!
First published in Chinanaz Magazine_ UZ