“I will try and be very honest with you, but I’ll ask of one thing from you” she started. “What’s that?” “I need my identity protected. I do not want anyone close to me ever getting to know this is me.” I will. I will guard it jealously. That was my response.
So I have tried to give twists to this story in good faith we protect her. I made a promise and I don’t intend to break it. Or so I think.
You see in life, you are met with challenges that will alter your normal life or even change it completely but resilience will keep you. Rather, life can break us to ways that we even forget ourselves. It is in such moments that we need to put up the most resilience.
Growing up in the heart of Muranga, a small village on hills that overlooked aberdare ranges, a very green place with tea bushes and beautiful rivers. The land can be likened to Canaan in the Bible. It flowed with honey and milk. I was a typical village girl. Born to a huge family, with reasonably wealth man, I had a descent childhood. A very beautiful brown girl in the early 90s.I know this because I have had myself all this time. I had a dream to raise a family like the one I was brought up in and live happily ever after. I wish I could tell you that my wish came to pass.
I settled with one man the father of my daughter at 24 years I was old enough to start a family. He gave me keys to my house. I vividly remember his words “A woman should learn to open the door to her house” He said as he handed me the keys to my house. Life was beautiful. My daughter brought us so much joy. She was a bright girl. He loved going out with her. She wore expensive dresses, a sweet petite girl. She grew up with so much confidence and love.
Maybe I should take you back to how I met my husband. There was a market called Mutithi market and we would go to sell and buy depending on which season it was. my father was a farmer, we sold cabbage, avocado, mutithi was drier than where we came from . we would buy cereals mostly such as beans, cowpeas and carry them home. either you were going or coming back, there was a load on your back .
This guy was a common face every Wednesday particularly when the schools were closed that was the only time. I hated going to the market but I had suddenly gotten a motivation. he was a family friend. Fast forward, school ended, they said he would get me a job he was an army man and lived in the big city. he even had a car a blue datsun with a carrier on the top. My mum bought the idea of him getting me a job, because as I told you my family was large so that was a burden lifted.
By this time he was well known by my family and he quickly earned their trust. I looked forward to that day when I would get the job. Might I at this point add that the man in question was such a fine specimen. He was way older than I was and he was well exposed so yes, he would get me a job. I also had good grades so it was not a worry.
I packed a few clothes that day and off I went to my newly found Job. It was satisfying to get the job and finally earn a salary. But where was I supposed to stay, Long story short. After close to one year, I added a new description to my job. I became his wife. And that was how my happily ever after started.
Back to my story, after about four years, we were expecting a second born. A very beautiful girl. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. She was even featured in the parent’s Magazine as the baby of the month. This two girls brought more life to me especially coz in an unfortunate turn of events at this time my marriage was shaky, stuff I would not expected started happening. like I couldn’t recognize the man i married.
The house that I had been given keys to was now not mine. I accessed it at his discretion. Maybe I should add that I had gotten a better paying job that would not have allowed me to stay continuously in that very town. i came on weekends , but he was also not there , but eventually, I had to relocate with my children close to my area of work. That looked to me like separation because we were on and off until when I knew that I had to move on. and build a life on my own, i was single again, It took a toll on me emotionally as I was trying to adapt to the new way of life but it was at least manageable coz I had a job.
I left expecting a third born. A very handsome boy was born. My joy was complete. He is a copyright of his father, growing up he had questions about his dad. Thankfully the dad was on and off so he on the least got a chance to know him. Bringing up my young family in my early 30s was not so hard as long as I had the job. They schooled in a good private school. We had a decent life. Then the rain started beating us, i was working at KTDA and we had a retrenchment that would not spare me.
Life started hitting hard. Paying fees, Rent and feeding three children. With little support. I tried business here and there but it didn’t pick well. We moved to a smaller house but I still could not pay the rent. Things went from bad to worse and eventually i did the most honorable decision of my life I moved back to the heart of the village in Muranga.
This particular day I don’t think will erase from my eyes, I was under 35 years with three children to raise and no income. Having to transition from the town to the village life. My eldest daughter by then In class six, the second born in class two and a toddler struggling to walk.
I had a pick up , my brothers pick up ferry my stuff back to my home. The humiliation that comes with it. Questions I didn’t have answers to, the unsaid rumors that stop when you get near them, their eyes that clearly say you had been a topic of discussion and those sharp words that got to your ears. There were those that looked at us as a liability, like we would take away pieces of land originally belonging to them. There were few nice ones, I remember friend to my brother, God bless his soul He gave me 200 Kshs note. That meant so much to me at the time, but I digress..
I tried to get resolve of which way to start. A mentally and emotionally disturbed young woman. But I had to be strong.at least for this kids , I picked tea in the plantations. 1 kg would go for 10 Kshs. Maybe I should let you know that tea is the weight of a feather. Now do your math. How many kgs I would need to pick, if that money is what would feed a family, pay fees and survive. Thank god for my 3 brothers they were such a huge support system. My parents had rested at the time. They would pass by almost every evening one with bread another with meat another with Unga. God bless them. it reminded me in my days of abundance how I would stand with their families.
My first born daughter got a scholarship in a school I couldn’t pay and that was a burden lifted. I fought like a wounded lion, because I was one anyway..
I went back to school self-sponsored struggled to pay fees for two years all the way through to my graduation. My second born daughter was such a supportive gem. She was a pillar for me at a very young age, she learnt to cook and take Care of his younger brother. I went to college when they closed school and left the two of them. It was hard to leave them aloe, the environment they were young, but I had no option. I owe a lot of my success to her support.
This graduation to me was a mile stone. And that’s how I earned the title teacher. I secured a job and taught for 5 years employed. Then one day the gut in me dared to take the risk of starting my own. My own school. This would be the greatest risk of my life. I will not go to details of how it went in this story , but it cost me …
It cost me all courage, all energy , everything, determination and strength draining and I’ve had very low moments there. howbeit, the sight of children running to me every morning with sounds of “Good Morning teacher” keeps me. i will tell this story some day
Truth is I have put up a fight. 7 years now. The school is standing amidst many odds. My girls are done with school and working while the last born is almost done. I have seen Gods faithfulness all through my hard journey. He has been my source of strength and courage. I would not have done this without Him.
I’m proud that I have brought up a compact family contrary to how it is viewed of single parenting mothers. This is my greatest success. My children are my friends and they’re friends with each other. I have taught them to fear God. We pray together
I have also let go a lot of things and learnt to forgive. I forgave my husband.
As I look back, I remember that day in Feb of 2005, as if it was yesterday, when that pickup came carrying my luggage back home. And the world was crumbling down on me. I can only be grateful to God
Maybe it’s okay to be humiliated before you can be glorified. It’s a happy Mother’s day.
We are celebrating your Strength, for raising families, holding marriages,
Even when you felt lost in a sea of responsibilities
Things to do- a range of to do lists, and piles of failure
And the many things you do behind scenes,
Relax, no amount of feeling unnoticed can pull you away,
From the truth that you are a Mother,
Deserving every appreciation.
#storiesitell. Nyamburandungu Mothersdayedition.