It was after form four, my last year in high school when I first talked to my mother. I was 19 years old. 7 years ago. When my father realized that am mature enough and I can handle whatever is thrown at me. He gave me my mother’s number. We talked for one month before we planned to meet. I traveled to my grand parents home for her to come visit me.
God knows how excited I was.
I was not shocked to find out that she was ‘the aunty’ I knew when I was young. I kind of felt it with time. How she used to comfort me when my grand mother would punish me. She would bring me clothes. Cook me porridge and feed me. Bath me. All the things a mother would do for her child.
She was the most sweetest person I have ever know. Always smiling and happy. Even though life was tough, and still is, she was always thankful for just being alive and seeing another day.
I remember when she came to my grand parents house, she knelt down in front of me hugged me so tight and thanked God. She said a very long prayer, speaking in tongues and crying.
Her life was the same as that of my grandparents, living in a manyatta house with her kids and her husband. She had 5 kids when I met her; 4 girls and 1 boy. But she was pregnant with her last born boy.
In Shianda village or according to my clan, having a boy child is very important and promising. So no matter how many kids you have, if you do not bare a boy child, you keep trying until you do. At least that’s what she told me. Because I wondered why she had so many children with the life she was living?
Being the 3rd wife, she struggled. Her husband was not a bad father nor a bad husband but he never stayed home. And if he did he would sleep in the 1st wife’s house. During those days, when a man married more than one wife, they all come and stay on his compound. He built Manyatta houses for all of them and sleep or eat where he felt like. But even with the 3 wives, he was not satisfied, rumors around the village that he had multiple families outside.
My mother was strong. She never cared about what her husband did. She only concentrated on her kids.Made sure they ate whether he brought food on the table or not. She would sleep hungry or drink just water and sleep as long as the kids had eaten. Remember she wasn’t working. In that village, it was believed that women stay at home while husbands work. All she did was prepare the shamba, plant and harvest.
Being my mother’s first born, she adored me. She knew that one day I will be a blessing to her. A very huge blessing. My return proved that. She believed that I will return. My grand parents always gave her the hope.
And I did.
I came to learn that, she had to give me up. She had to make a sacrifice for her own good. How could she have educated me? How could she have protected me from her husband? How could she have fed me? When she couldn’t feed herself sometimes. And even though I was to stay with my grand parents, they couldn’t take care of me. My father gave her a choice.“I will educate your child but I don’t want you to ever look for her or talk to her until she’s mature enough to look for you and when she asks for you, I will let her”. Those were the exact words she told me, my father told my grand parents.
I still feel the pain every time I talk about this. The pain of not having my mother with me. Every time I think about it, I cry. Even as I am writing this part, am tearing.
To be continued….
Lemme share a few photos of me and my mother