The fear of turning 30 as a Kenyan

Is 30 the new 20?

Murugi Munyi, Georgie Ndirangu, Pinky Ghelani, Ruby V

While some Kenyans might argue that turning 30 years is an exciting phase in their lives, it turns out that the age of 30 might be one of the most frightening phases.

Simply put, your 20s are set aside for building yourself as a person in terms of character, career, net worth, skills, and physical shape among others. This is merely in preparation for your 30s when society starts training their focus on you.

I think turning 30 comes with its very weird, unrealistic expectations. By 30 you’re expected to be fully mature, you’re expected to know exactly what you are doing and the truth of the matter is even as you go to 35, 40, 50, a lot of people don’t know what they are doing.

They’re just winging it, a lot of people are winging it and we have so much pressure on ourselves to make things as solid as possible…God knows who gave you that societal pressure to just have everything in check, which might never be the case,” said former BBC journalist, Georgie Ndirangu, during a Twitter space held by Pulse Live.

Lifestyle content creator Murugi Munyi is however of a different view on the fear of turning 30. In her experience, she narrated that attaining what is modernly known as the ‘3rd floor’ was a less frightening ordeal, rather an extremely exciting one.

I’ve always felt like maybe because I’ve had a child young and I always felt like I was ready to be 30 when I was 25. I think the fear comes from whether I have made great enough strides to even sit in the league of 30-year-olds.

Really age is just a number. When I look back at my 20s, I felt like I’ve come a long way…it’s almost like a trophy,” she noted.

She however wondered if men experience the same kind of pressure as women on approaching 30 as a number of factors indicate that their biological clock starts winding down.

On the contrary, men who cross the age of 30 have their value increased and as such, become among the most sought-after individuals for both business and romantic purposes because of their high value.

I’ve always wondered if men feel the same anxiety because for women I think once you clock 30 and you don’t have kids you start thinking ‘gosh, is my time running out, do I need to freeze my eggs…is my biological clock ticking and I’ve heard people say that when men cross 30, their value increases because everybody is looking for a 30-something-year-old man but when women cross 30 it's like ‘who’s going to want you now,” she added.

However, she opined that men attaining the age of 30 go through the same kind of pressure as society expects them to have considerable value; it could be their own business or a strong financial foundation or in this election season, vying for a political seat.

Among the prerequisites of turning 30 is having a speciality in your craft and working towards achieving your goals as getting to the age of 30 when you haven’t done much in your 20s won’t bring about any change.

Ndirangu believed that turning 30 is also a significant point of change as many of the activities that have been commonplace in one’s 20s start disappearing, and one starts paying very close attention to their circle of friends, deciding on who to leave out and who to keep around.

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