CAVEMAN ENCOUNTERS: Great Mothers’ Day and Special tribute to my Mama…

I was always a tempestuous and naughty kid growing up, and my mama never spared the rod to beat the okro seeds out of my mouth. She was a strict mother, Madam Joy, as people used to call her. A school teacher she never took my foolishness and tabia mbaya sitting down, but would act promptly with a slap or a good whacking on my buttocks with whatever she could lay her hands on. My dad Mwalimu ‘Nasty’ Mash, was also another strict disciplinarian. Always right behind my mother, he met her distress regarding my tabia mbaya with the zeal of a lion protecting his lioness and home, with the dreaded mshipi, which he used to good effect, It is because of Mwalimu and Madam that I stand today, mild mannered and full of common sense. I remember an incident I fought with another kid in school, and got a big lump on my forehead for my troubles. I fought back bravely, and ensured the other kid got several karate kicks and nail marks all over his face. The kids all over the primary school witnessed the biggest fight of the month, as we two engaged. My parents, especially my mother did not receive the news well, and upon learning of how it all went down, cornered me for a thorough beating to correct the wrongs in my actions. On yet another day, she raced me down the estate we lived at full sprint, caught me up and sambad to the ground. Then after that, bang…

One of those days mama rose to occasion. Illustration by Lewis Wafula.

As we celebrate Mothers’ Day, I cannot help but recall the many encounters I had with my mother on my way growing up, especially in my early childhood and primary school level. I now realize it was deep love for her son her far seeing eyes in raising a good, responsible, level headed son who would one day be a husband to someone’s daughter and father to bubbly sons and daughters. The viboko and makofi and the slightest whiff of bad behavior have proofed vital, 25+ years down the line. As an adult now, having experienced the lessons of life, I thank God for my mama, who opened the windows of life to me with her strictness. Staying clear of drugs, alcohol, chips funga and matusi, I have lived a fruitful life away for dreadful kaswende and kisonono, prison and the dagger in my back. Thank you mom, I will pass my lessons to my children and pay tribute for your love, goodness and far seeing eyes in seeing a man through my childishness. Better the childhood lessons on life than the harsher lessons of life that mean life or death, with no apologies. Also, a pay a glowing tribute to all mothers who go through endless hustles to ensure their sons and daughters get the best and become the best the world could have.

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