Hakuna kama Mama

So many things have been said, so many things written as well. Songs produced, movies screened and chapaa earned from people honouring their mothers. Day in day out, Mama asante, many others cry on stages while receiving their awards. It has always been the same accolade. “I couldn’t have done this without my mother.”Mothers have been known to have a stronger bond with their children. Several biological factors add up to this. From conception, it is women who know what the foetus requires, they experience all the cravings, they beat all the pain.

A popular saying in Swahili reads, Kumzaa mtoto si kazi, kazi ni kumlea(or something like that, you get the concept though) 9 months is no joke walking around with a belly that tells all that the bedroom matters were well taken care of. Pushing out the baby is different, some women have it easier than others. Trauma experienced also varies, mothers or the babies die. I’m yet to experience motherhood but I’m afraid of the whole concept anyway. The irony however is, I’m the best baby sitter there is. Some things are just wired in us, the women folk.

I’ve seen mothers who go out to ensure that there child/ren lack nothing. They work long hours, spend less on themselves just to see their children through school or even whichever dreams they decide to venture in.

I witnessed the protection that mothers have their children even when they clearly know they are in the wrong. It’s when I learnt that the ‘mtoto ni wa jamii’ punishment was long forgotten. The story goes, a mother with a son lost around 750 shillings of Kenyan currency in her own home. Depending on where you are on the social ladder, this amount can be a great deal or simply a by the way. One way or the other, with a mother’s infinite wisdom, she figured out that her son and some friends were involved. Two in the story.

Bak bandika bak bandua. Knock! Knock. The door was opened by the other unknowing mother and in the stepped with her son in tow, already in tears. The mother went on to explain the situation they were facing and when the boys turn to give the story came, accusing fingers were pointed on all sides. The other mother also showed and all the three mothers were explaining how their children had no habit of stealing money even if it was left on the table, leave alone this that was fetched from the purse.

But don’t all habits start from somewhere? You never used to drink, smoke, party, read, cook till you started. These women vehemently denied this, probably to protect their lineage in front of others. Back in their homes though, each child received a good caning to teach them the lesson they had clearly not learnt. Kuwa mtoto mzuri.

Mothers do it all. They are the career women, housewives and primary caregiver. All mothers but mine. My granny told me tales of how just at 2 months old, my dear mother abandoned me and I was raised on the bottle. She went on to tell me what I would do as a child, what I ate and what I loved. It’s believable alright, again isn’t this what grandmothers do? Tell stories? I believe I am my granny’s favourite grandchild, now that she has several. Not that I was the first. Or that I am more beautiful. I am named like her daughter who unfortunately passed away, she sees the light of her in me.

I have schemed photos of myself as a baby and seen my mother in several of them, my dad even but most I was alone. Not smiling, just there. I must have scared the camera man away(giggles). But this story isn’t about me, it’s about my mother. Okay and bits of me.

Growing up I never really experienced the motherly love. I saw it in adverts, watched it in movies and read it in books. Books that I saw much came to love. I could relate with the characters and in them I could travel to lands far away where the problems were of others. My world was just perfect.

My mother gave birth to me. And she didn’t really influence my love for reading but she brought home the newspapers. Wanting to escape I drowned in them day after day. And I loved it. I wanted to become an editor. I could see my whole life unfold in front of me while writing. Never really spoke to anyone unless spoken to. I just didn’t belong anywhere except in pieces of writing. I was thrilled.

I can’t help but wonder, what my mother thinks of me. Am I just an offspring she had to bring forth? Why don’t I have a mother like everyone’s mother? We don’t talk and she isn’t my inspiration. If I was to get an award today, I doubt she’ll even cross my mind. Having a mother and not really having one is hard to deal with. I want to say I love my mother like every other good child.

I’m a good child but there is no love for her. Well, maybe a little admiration because she’s the definition of a beautiful face but that’s all. And that sounds gay to me. And if I’m bisexual, which there are high chances, I don’t want it to be for her. Plus my face is pretty much like hers.

I want to get to know my mother, because she does things I cannot even comprehend. A book will do. Because if this abandoning is in the genes, I don’t want to be like that for my daughter. Oh yes I’ll have a daughter..


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