The Power of a Single Mum
By Stephen Siloma
I walk to the living room and find her sitted on the couch eyes glued to the Daily Nation slowly flipping the weak sheets as if a curtain to another scene of a medieval play. Perhaps Kibaki and his counterparts were shunned by Moi or maybe a certain feminist bill didn’t pass in parliament.
She was political, politics made her neurons and arteries. She was an activist, rescuing girls who were victims of early marriages. She was respected, highly valued in the society and feared especially by the students she taught, ‘Maalimu Keko’ they called her.
Dehydrated from the rough childish play, I tip-toed to the kitchen to have that glass of water, to quench that burning thirst and replenish the lost energy. In my stealth, I drew the glass and the container that we used to scoop water from the drum with and slowly poured my water when suddenly a glass dropped to the cement floor and broke apart.
It was a rat, one so notorious that made us chase it through cracks and nooks. One that ate our mattress and chewed the buttons of our Sony Trinitron remote control. It was the last one surviving. I single-handedly murdered all its family in all the episodes of the Rats Wars and this stupid creature decided to wait for this perfect moment to run over the utensils and break mum’s precious glass.
She didn’t yell, nor did she say much at first. She just called my name and ordered me to get my own canes. I started crying blaming the rat for the disaster but I was shut by two firm slaps. As I came back to my conscious world, the rolled newspaper was pounding on my head as I was being escorted outside to get the canes, no wonder am not a fan of the Nation.
My mother was harsh, but sweet when you are at terms. The problem is that she turned sides more often. At one time she would laugh with you but in a while she would bark for hours. I grew not to cross her paths and only smile while she was smiling. It was a crime to keep quiet, to be extra happy, to stay in the house, to go play outside, being very clean, being happy, placing your hand on your cheek, placing your hand on your head etc.
I have grown to learn to be disciplined, to be a respectable young man in the society and to be religious. I am grown into this young man people look up to. Just in the same way I tell people #ItsJesus when they say I am favored, the word #ItsMyMother blurts out when someone tells me am disciplined. Despite her being a single primary school teacher parent, she has raised two giants, educated, talented and doing well in life. Thank you mum.
In celebration of International Women’s day, which was earlier this week, we got guest post by Siloma. You can follow him on twitter @
He blogs at silomasays.com