Why World Left-Handers day is significant

President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the Competition Amendment Bill 2019. PHOTO/Courtesy.

The world marked Left Handers Day on Friday.

The day is marked every August 13th since 1976 to celebrate the uniqueness of people who are left handed.

Their statistics is not clear but according to Lefty Kenya, 13% of the world population is left handed.

In the 18th and early 19th century, being left-handed was regarded to be a disability and teachers suppressed it amongst students.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is among Kenyans who are left handers.

At the global stage, former US President Barrack Obama and other seven presidents before him were left handers.

Business magnet Bill Gates, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga are left handers.

According to the National Day Calendar (NDA), scientists don’t know why a person develops left-handedness but a child who is more likely to be if one parent is a lefty.

Parents of left-handed children used to force them to use their right hands….Parents feared their communities would shun their children, according to information available in NDA website.

In his biography titled Undeterred: A Rural Boy’s Journey to the Pinnacle of Academia, Kisii University Vice Chancellor, Prof John Akama who is left-handed says that the trait runs in the family tree.

He avers that his grandfather Otwori who was a warrior was left-handed and this gave him advantage over adversaries of the Gusii community.

“….I have a feeling that the narrative may be correct…..It could be the reason why quite a number of people in our lineage are left handed,” Prof Akama writes.

It should be noted that left-handers being a minority in a right-handers society, they are often disadvantaged and suffer in silence.

For instance, very few learning institutions have desks suitable for left-handers readily available.

Our research also shows that no camera has been manufactured for easy use by this category of people.

It is argued that left handers have advantage in sports, use the right side of the brain most, are smarter, are more likely to suffer language problems and are better at multi-tasking.

Nyamira County Assembly member Hyline Mayaka who is left-handed said, “I think I’m lucky my mum and her mum are left-handed and nobody tried to discourage them.”

In Nyamira News and Updates, which is a popular WhatsApp group is bringing together a galaxy of residents, Ms Mayaka said discouraging a child who is left-handed from using it may mess his potential in the long run.

Other participants in the forum expressed various viewpoints, including having left-handers enlisted as a minority group.

Although some left handers get victimised, others are ambidextrous, meaning they can use both hands effectively.

Some items like surgical gloves are ambidextrous.

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Mr. Araka is the pioneer reporter and editor at The Scholar. His satirical segment, The Idler's Corner is very popular with our readers. He is also a published novelist and biographer.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Being among those celebrated today I can tell that being left handed is something that runs in the family for example my dad is left handed..and my immediate brother..m always proud of my hand

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