My mother has failed me
18 May 2015, 14:47
Nairobi - I am always the first to point fingers at something that I
do not agree with. The background information usually comes up later after I am
done apportioning blame.
I came across something while trolling on the internet this morning
and it rang so close to home that I could not even blame the girl for her
It was basically the girl talking about what she does (a not
so legitimate enterprise) to get money and help support her family. Inclusive
of her mother. No formal education so she uses what she has. The mother on the
other hand is just happy for the help and does not really care where it is all
So I sat there reading her story and usually my next step is
going through the comments to see what everybody else thought. You obviously know of the recriminations that
she got for what she is doing and her part in the degradation of society.
I on the other hand, put myself in her shoes and really
looked at where she was coming from. No one wakes up in the morning and the
first thought in mind is, ‘Oh, today, I feel like selling my body for a few
shillings, so I think that is what I am going to do!’ Circumstances put you in
a situation and decisions have to be made. Kenya has one of the highest
unemployment rates, so do not tell me even sweeping the floor is an easy job to
come by. Even the City Council has procedures, you just do not get in. Let’s
not even get into you having to know someone and the ‘kutoa kitu kidogo’. You have an aging mother and siblings to take
care of she made a decision.
The person I am going to talk about though is the mother not
the daughter. You know she does not have a formal training or education, she
works as a help part time, so when she comes into your house with bundles of
cash and gives it to you, what is the first thing that you do!Yes, she asks
where you have gotten that money, but most of them do not ask with the clear
intention of following up, just enough reason for her to use it with an excuse
that is good enough for her.
I can relate to the fact that a lot of my friend’s mother’s
relatives and sometimes my own, rarely follow up on their daughter’s
activities. If anything that is one less expense on them that you have learnt
to deal with on your own.
Your daughter comes home, her hair is made, a big shopping
of groceries and her own amenities. Lotion that is more than the rent that you
ever paid. Brand new shoes every second and a new bag to match. She loads your
M-Pesa, you ask her for money and she gives you.
Yet in the morning, you leave her in the house, in the
evening (those that she is there) you find her abed. Basically she has no job
to speak of but has money. Have you ever really stopped and sked yourself where
she gets that money from.
Then, there is that common belief that a lot of our mothers
have, as long as she has a boyfriend, it is okay that she gets the money from
there. She did her part.
It is okay if you did
your part but a lot of women will stand up in church on Sunday preaching
against all form of sin yet her daughter is busy sinning at that moment in an
unfamiliar territory because she has to figure out,’ where am I getting my
sanitary towels for next month, my lotion, my deodorant…!’ It normally starts
with such small things that she cannot cater for herself and no one is helping
her. But soon she realizes she can get the much bigger and better things from
what she is currently doing to get her necessities.
If you are a mother and you see your daughter getting
dropped by some car but you do not stop to ask, then never get the higher moral
ground when it comes to someone else’s daughter’s problems. At least they know
what their daughter has been up to. You do not have any idea.
Her short, passive answers work for you because she has
helped unload some of the weight you have been carrying. Bear in mind though,
shortcuts usually have a blowback. Just sit down and watch it coming because
you do not want the small expense.
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