Old school discipline-My gangster mum

Last weekend, I was hanging out with friends and I noticed that one of them had some very prominent scars on both legs, just below his knees. When I asked him what happened, he told me that he fell down from a tree when he was 4 years old and broke both legs…as in the bones were sticking out of his skin (ouch). He told me how freaked out his mum was and the TLC she gave him until he recovered. I love my mum to bits but, she was so gangster on me hahaha. So I told him of this one time when my mum was unwell and she asked our neighbor Mama Wairimu to go to church with me.

We went to church and met Wairimu’s friend who invited us to Karen after church to hang out. I must have been around 10 or 11 years old. So, after church, we went to Karen. On arrival, we were carried out of the car, but all this while, I had no idea why. The host, after an awesome lunch, told us that her neighbors had waaaay better toys. She wanted us to head there and hang out before Mama Wairimu comes to pick us up. So, she gave us this strict instruction, “I will go out through the back. When I tell you to come out, run towards the gate and close it behind you!” So she went out through the back door.

Wairimu and I obediently ran to the gate, got out and pulled the gate shut when we got out. We took a few steps and the gate swung back open! All I remember seeing is some huge dogs (literally the same size as me then) with sharp and scary teeth running so fast towards us! Amidst screams, Wairimu stopped a car and jumped in. I on the other hand froze from the shock of watching those beasts running towards me. So…..I fainted! Yeah, that is kind’a like…my thing…I faint when shocked. When I came to, I was in a ditch, the big dog doing laps around me and a crowd at the top wondering whether I was dead. I closed my eyes lest the beast came and devoured me!

Finally, the host came with her parents and locked up the dogs, administered fast aid as I had lots of bruises and a dog bite on my chin…yeah…my chin…smh! Wairimu’s mum came and we headed home at 7pm. When I got home, my ailing mum got some strength from God knows where and she was waiting for me at the door with a belt. Even before I could explain, we were running around the house with her whooping me thoroughly. She noticed the bruises, but, she maintained the harsh look and asked what had happened. After narrating the whole story in tears, she sent me to bed. Gangster love, or is it tough love?! Lesson: Be home by 6pm means just that! I love you mum 🙂

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First date as a new mum

For starters, let me explain exactly what goes through the mind of a single mum when she decides to get back in the game(I am open to more from those who can relate). My child, will the guy accept the fact that I am a mum, will he accept my child, then throw in some physique insecurities especially if one gains weight after the baby and maybe some sprinkles of low self esteem, lastly, how does dating work when you are a mum…logistics, logistics LOGISTICS! The pressure is out of this world! So, when I finally got back out there and was asked out on something that seemed like a date, I really went out of my way.

So this guy asked to take me out for a drink one Wednesday evening. I was really excited! I kept thinking, “bado niko na market!” Hahaha. My mum, who happens to be my number one cheer leader was equally excited. She agreed to watch my munchkin that evening and even encouraged me to have as much fun as possible…Ooh, she even asked me not to call when out because if I hear my baby crying in the back ground, maternal instincts would send me running back home! She has had 4 kids, she could tell when the crying meant something is wrong.

D-day finally came and I was in town early to prepare for this date. I had my best outfit on and some new sandals I just got. I usually don’t do weaves, but this was the day I broke out of my mediocre shell. I had to try new things! Human hair weave, manicure and pedicure, eye brows trimmed and make up on! Presentation is key! I arrived at the venue of the date, which happened to be this bar/restaurant in town called Zeep. I mention the name of the club because later, those who know it will understand the events of the night.

A friend of mine tagged a long just incase things hit the fan. She sat on the side lines though. So, there was Karaoke that night, which I love! After the first drink, I was relaxed and the night seemed to be going well at that point. I asked my friend to join us, which my date didn’t mind at all. At some point, I had to go to the bathroom. I got up and swung my heaps as I walked away…I knew he was watching, hahaha. The stairs at this place are metallic. I walked towards them and on the first step, in a split second, I slipped and literally glided to the bottom of the stair case on my bum! I heard a roar of laughter from the people who saw! I am not light skinned, but I can swear my cheeks turned pink. My sandal was damaged and I couldn’t walk in it anymore. As tears filled up my eyes, someone helped me up. I called my friend and asked her to join me at the washrooms so we can leave. Thank God for hand bags because she had an extra pair of condom shoes in her bag! A size bigger, lol, but its better than walking barefoot. I left and no amount of explaining would have made that date work past that point. I was down on luck. It still makes me laugh and turn pink from embarrassment to date! Please note, I have never gone back to Zeep after that night.

New mum-One gory detail

Let me begin by saying, no class or intense training of any kind can teach anyone how to be a parent. You literally learn on the job. I was fortunate to have a number of experienced mothers around during my pregnancy and after getting my daughter. I visualize parenting, and a roller coaster comes to mind. There are extremely good and bad days. Some of the things you were taught may not work on your baby or you, others you handle how you know best and other people may not agree, but the end result is what matters. There’s no manual!

I spent a lot of time with young mums and they were going through so much, just like I was. This one story, I found unique and I feel I should share with my friends so that those who relate may not feel ashamed anymore. I am sure we have all seen the campaign Royal media has been carrying out about fistulas. Very many new mums go through this and marinate in shame, instead of telling people what they are going through, or seeing a doctor! Fistulas after child birth are usually as a result of long hours of labor during child birth. When the veins die, they collapse and fall out of the anal area. They are unbearably painful!

A couple of close friends of mine and even one of my hair dressers confessed to having suffered in silence. I consulted a bunch of friends who are medical practitioners who told me that they have to be surgically cut out, wounds left open to heal and the healing process takes up to 6 months as the area heals slowly. I did recently refer a friend to Kenyatta hospital as many do not even know what kind of doctor to see for this! The surgery helped her a lot. However, what people do not know is, do not feed a new mum ‘njahi’ and too much starchy foods!

A healthy and balanced diet always help mums for everything…be it milk, weight or even a simple thing like bowel movements. A lot of roughage and water are best for the new mum. There is no shame in consulting a doctor. I think mothers should speak up and help fellow mums, just so that they know that they are not going through this alone. I am doing this for a friend who I got consent from to speak on her behalf to other mums. I hope I help a mum or a mum to be out there.

Kibra thugs.

I have had two horrible encounters with Kibra thugs. Those fellas are not a joke! The first encounter was when I was in form 4. There was a popular gig called chaguo la teeniz. It was the gig we ‘Nairobians’ bragged about attending through out the term in high school. Osman had come all the way from Narok for it and he called two days prior to make sure we met. The event had teenagers of all walks of life and was usually held at the Carnivore. I went with two girls, my sister inlaw and a neighbor. I remember doing a holiday job at my sister’s work place just so I can make enough money to pay for entrance for that gig.

After such an eventful afternoon, we decided to walk to the stage and get a matatu to town. There were so many people on the road so there was nothing to worry about. When we got to the stage, there were groups of young boys that were causing some commotion. We figured they were drunk, so we walked across the road and were waiting for a matatu. My friends were wise enough to hide all their valuables. I on the other hand, had my very nice alcatel phone sticking out of my jeans pocket. I was the perfect target. Osman saw the gang approach us. He quickly took out his wallet and phone, gave them to me and pushed me into the petrol station behind us and asked me to run.

I took off, no idea what was going on. I stopped at the pharmacy (now pizza inn) and looked back only to see him on the ground, getting the beating of a life time from so many boys. My sister in law courageously sat on him and blocked the blows as they took stuff from her and my friend. When they found nothing of value, they moved on to the next one leaving Osman wounded and bleeding on the ground. A gentle man who had witnessed all this while fueling his car signaled me and told me it was safe and we should leave quickly.

We walked down a few stages away, nursing Osmans bruises as I thanked him for saving me as we dealt with the shock. The gentleman from the petrol station quickly stopped next to us, window rolled down and shouted “Mnafuatwa! Ingieni haraka!” Damn fools came after us…when they saw me return of course. I had the phones and money! Good samaritan dropped us off at Mbagathi round about….far away from the thugs. I couldn’t stop tears from flowing. Shock and love…mixed emotions. That was the night I got my first kiss….Come on…it was literally the perfect moment. Like when super man saves Loise Lane and she is blown away by that heroic gesture. Who wouldn’t kiss the guy?! Hahaha.

Bad girl gets a taste of her own medicine

I grew up in an estate setting for a better part of my childhood. We had this obsession for bikes…even the girls. Every house hold had a BMX! It was a need, not even a want. We’d ride around the estate all day racing, doing the so called ‘scrambo’ stunts, hand free and the likes. I was what the Kikuyu’s call a “Wanja kihii” which is a term for tom girls. When the bikes got boring, we would sometimes go around ringing peoples bells and running away, stealing guavas from people’s trees or deflating people’s car tires (If anyone did that to me right now I’d loose it!) Apologies to all those residents who woke up and found flat tires.

Anyway, enough digression. Our estate had all kinds of people. We had all tribes, races and we even had a mad man! One of our neighbors had a relative who was not mentally stable. He walked round the estate all day, sometimes talking to himself. We all avoided him. We got used to seeing him around so, as long as he was minding his own business, we never bothered him….well, the rest did not. I, on the other hand decided I could bully him just a little from time to time. I would call him “dirty feet” when passing by him on my bike. He always acted like he didn’t hear me.

So, we had a relative who lived with us then. She had a son, 1yr old at the time. He was learning how to walk so it was very exciting. His mother sent me to the shop to buy milk and asked me to take her son for a walk while at it. Since I was going with the boy, I couldn’t take the bike. As we slowly walked to the shop, we ran into “dirty feet”. So I put on this naughty smile and whispered “dirty feeeeeet” as I passed him. He turned around and walked towards me from behind, so I could not see him approach. All over sudden, PAAAAAAH! The guy gave me a serious kick on my behind that sent my heart racing from the shock. I heard a loud roar of laughter from the cute boys who were sitting around idling.

I took off, grabbing my sore behind, leaving dust behind me and the baby who was also shocked and crying! I got home in a split second, only for my cousin to ask for her son! She was furious and didn’t care what had happened to me, all she wanted was her son! She quickly sent me out to get her son and I just couldn’t believe her. I was so freaked out! I hid behind car after car, wall after wall, just like in the movies, peeping just in case I ran into him again. Eventually, I got the baby back home, but no milk! I camped in the house for a while and completely avoided “dirty feet” until he was finally hospitalized. Lesson: Mind your own business or life will bite (or kick) your behind!

That fateful day!

During my younger days in life I was the dream child. Very obedient, honest, a faithful christian…in fact, a very loyal church goer. I was in the church youth dance class so, I was in church daily! I still had my main squeeze Osman, who was very supportive. Osman came from a typical Somali family (very clean and urban one though). He helped his parents out at their shop in Narok where they sold electronics. We spoke all day everyday and he expressed how boring Narok was for him. So someone in their area used to deliver miraa to Nairobi weekly. He was wise enough to get into a deal with this guy to hitch a ride and come see me then go back with him in the evening.

My whole family knew Osman…he was impossible to hate. Very cheerful, funny, shy and he had a way with mums…mine to be specific. Eventually, Osman enrolled for computer classes at Loita house for the holidays as he waited to join JKUAT for a course in IT or Engineering. We had just cleared high school and he did so well in sciences. So his parents let him relocate to his sister’s place in Lang’ata as he attended classes. It was like a dream come true! We could see each other anytime. I know my mum will come for my neck when she reads this, but I finally got my first kiss when he came to Nairobi! We even got robbed and he saved my life! Story for another day, hahaha.

So one afternoon, as we hang out with two of our close friends in Kasarani, who were also a couple by the way, we agreed to go for swimming the following Saturday. I was attending catechism classes so as to start per taking holy communion. On Thursday (2 days before our swimming date), my phone was stolen by a friend I made IN CHURCH! Again, story for another day! I had enrolled to play table tennis for the church (Osman taught me how to play all through primary and high school). I had no phone so I couldn’t reach him for 2 days. On Saturday morning, I went to play the tennis tournament as I waited to figure out how to get a phone and reach my friends.

I had this really sick feeling all night. The whole morning, I felt like my stomach wasn’t ok. As I sat on the bench waiting for my turn to play, the youth leader came and told me I had a phone call. I got so nervous…it was strange since we were not close. Who would call me on his phone? When I picked up, my friend Zarah was asking me to go back home, she had something to tell me. I rushed home wondering what was wrong. When I got there, I found my sister in the house and she broke the news. “Osman passed away last night in a road accident at the Mbagathi round about!” The shock was out of this world! I froze for a minute then burst out in tears. Before I could even sit down, I was told that I had to rush for his funeral at the mosque in South C! This was all like a messed up nightmare.

I made it for his funeral, but never got to see the body. I spent the afternoon with his family and it was too heart breaking. When I got home later that evening, my whole family was home to hold my hand through it. A young, beautiful soul gone too soon. He passed on on April 21st, 2006. May his soul rest in eternal peace, and his memory live on for a life time!

Left out- Family drama

I have had a lot of sad days in my life. Some so sad that they left me battling inside. When I was young, I remember playing outside and one kid telling me that I did not belong to my family because they are all Kikuyus and I am Kalenjin. I had to ask my mum why this was the case and I honestly respect her for telling me the truth at such a tender age. We are very close in our family…VERY! My youngest brother once locked up some kid in our store because he was harrassing me….yes…you better be warned. Kwetu kuna mbwa kali sana hahaha. My mum told me how she struggled in a violent marriage and walked away with three beautiful kids that she struggled to raise.

Years later she met my dad and fortunately or unfortunately, he had a family out there. I never really knew my dad. The only memories I have of him are countable and I was so afraid of him. He was a police commissioner. Very tall, well dressed and a man of few words. I loved the blend of grey hair he had. It was pretty cool with the uniforms and suits he wore. He was a man of few words and very rarely did we see him. He sent out a very authoritative vibe…the kind that makes you up and leave when he walks into the room. Oooh and he looooved himself some ugali and liver…and maziwa mala with ugali too. He hated that I’d put sugar in the mala. He said that I insulted the cows that produced it….well…born tao problems.

Well…he later passed on when I was in high school. I was so shocked, disappointed and hurt because I never really got to know him. I think at that point, I realized, its a cruel world. We went for the fund raiser for his funeral at Visa place. I remember being asked to sit at the back. I was so confused! My dad just died! Why did it feel like I walked into some stranger’s event? So I cried a river and my mum and siblings didn’t know how to explain things to me….how to tell me that, I was not considered his child.

But, I told you….we are very very close. My mum, brothers and sister all came together for me. They gave me a talk and reminded me that I have them and that is all that mattered. We fueled a car and went all the way to Sotik. They managed my expectations and I knew that I’d be a back bencher again…but we all had to say goodbye. The school I was in always sent a team to support the bereaved. I remember my brothers managing the students and teacher since they kept asking why I was not at the front. But I had to honor the man who gave me life. He was there for us when he could be. Because of this I know that its not about our names, our history and origin…My mum has done a spectacular job at mothering and fathering her kids and making them so close! That is family!