Sunday 3rd February 2013
I have longed to be in my mama’s arms;to feel the warmth of her embrace and the sqeeze of a loving mama. These are things only a mama can do and for that I am going home.To my mama.Mama is oblivious of my coming,in fact I haven’t told her that I will be coming home. My friends think I am being malicious and I agree to some extent but I really want to surprise HER.
And I know just the thing to do; today being a Sunday I will dress sharp (in a way I know mama would be impressed), and go to church. I will sit at the spot Baaba used to sit. I have noticed on many occasions before mama throwing quick glances at that spot. I bet in those moments she misses Baaba and today when she throws a glance I will be there, seated, smiling.
I am dressed in black linen pants and a blue linen shirt tailored in African design. I have also acquired a new bible and I will bring that too. I am swept in a wave of emotions in anticipation of mama’s reaction when she sees me. Will she be spiteful of me for not telling her of my coming?or will her heart skip a beat?. Well I will find out in a few.
I have missed being in this church. I have never in my life had this kind of experience where there is so much spiritual outpouring before God. The music is good and the worship does well to lead me closer to God. But most of my attention is on mama. She is so beautiful in her weave and a pink dress. Mama likes to sing her heart out and over the last 4 years since Baaba went to be with the lord I have seen her grow closer and closer to God. She has given her life to the ministry (albeit at a huge personal sacrifice of her family) and she has become a priest and a prophet over our lives. She lives a prayerful life and I feel safe in the lord because whenever she prays for us (her children) she mentions each one of us by name and just what eaxctly she wants the lord to accomplish in our lives. I believe I am what I am today because of mama’s prayers.
I can see her from the balcony. She looks unsettled, like something is on her mind. It is typical of mama to have things on her mind. She worries a lot, or may be she has a lot to worry about but I worry about her too.I want all the good there is for her. she has been the best gift to us for always and especially since Baaba has been gone. She has made huge sacrifices and she continues to do so and its propably what’s is on her mind right now. I know seeing me would make her happy and probably drive her mind from whatever is bothering her and I try all I can to make her look up to where I am. It is funny how things don’t happen when you want them to and today for some reason mama isn’t looking up. I try beeping her phone and even sending her a text but she just won’t look up. I will be patient even though I too am unsettled now wondering what could be going through her mind, if she could just look up and tell me.
Shortly the pastor takes the pulpit and I have hope that in one of those tell your neighbour moments mama will look up.Common pastor, allow us to even pinch our neighbours…..And I am not wrong because mama does look up eventually. Her eyes open wider as do mine, her smile spreads from cheek to cheek and she is fighting tears as do I, mine are tears of joy and I hope hers are too. Of course they are,mama’s eyes are like a window to her soul and I have learnt over these years to know her heart through her eyes.Neither her nor I pay attention to the message today. I can’t wait to get down there and have her wrap me in her arms and have me in a long loving embrace. Many months have I wandered, been through many hugs but this one has always been special and if I could leap over the balcony just to get down to where mama is I would.
Mama’s embrace has never dissapointed. It is in her arms that I am sure I will always find true love, given wholeheartedly with nothing held back. It is such a joy to be in her arms and both she and I don’t want to let go. It feels like home.
My first instinct is to take her to a supermarket and luckly there is one nearby. I have come to have my ways of knowing when she is worried about what she will serve her guests. I have never considered myself a guest in her home, but she has always wanted a kingly treatment for me and is something I have learnt not to fight with time. So my instinct is to take her to a supermarket and have her pick anything she wants to make for lunch. She is shy at first (as always) but I assure her I will pay for everything and anything she picks and within a short time she has done a month’s worth of shopping. I love this woman.
Mama lives in a simple single room in the neighbourhood of Kimbo Githurai which she shares with my babay sister Elizabeth and my adopted sister waithera. But this time I am met by a sight I least expected. Mama now shares her single room with another lady (I can’t remember her name so I will call her Mary) and her son Njuguna so together with my two sisters there are 5 people in my mother’s household. It is not unusual for my mum to open her door to her friends and host them when things go wrong for them. In fact I think this is something she learnt from my grandmother. But I say this here hoping that Kenyans would learn a very simple lesson from my mum and her friend Mary. Mary is Kikuyu and we are Luo. The rivalry between the Luo and the Gikuyu in Kenyan is a fact that is known world over and is pretty unusual that on an election year like this one a Luo and a Kikuyu woman would ignore all societal and political stereotypes and share more than just a small room but everything that comes with it. It means that when there is a meal they will share it equally with the children and when there is none they will share in the spirit and go to bed some even next to each other.
I understand that Mary’s sister also makes some to stop over and stays with them till late night just chatting and sharing the word of God. Mary’s sister’s daughter Njeri has also become a very good friend of my baby sister’s and I enjoy sitting there and watching them play their children games of making food for non-existing guests. Of important note is that Mary and her sister are staunch supporters of Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Alliance (which apparently is launching it Manifesto today at an event aired live on TV and we watch it together) while my mum is an ardent supporter of Raila Odinga’s CORD Coalition. But their political differences have not affected their friendship in any way. I am so inspired by this and wishing all Kenyans can see it.
We share a meal and they get me to talk about Zambia. Mama is particularly interested in knowing if I have already found a Zambian girlfriend or if she should start hoping for grandchildren.Liz is laughing at me cheekily that I have to explain why I haven’t gotten a Zambian girlfriend yet. Mama says she is praying for one. In my defense I say I havent been lucky to find one yet and that most of the girls I have met in Zambia drink alcohol a lot and that I have seen many women grow beard when they get old. But mama won’t have it. She says I can find a good girl in church at which point I promise to start being keen on finding one but secretly I wish she knew I am not interested.
Today, has been the climax of my Nairobi tour and I have had he most amazing experience but it is getting dark outside and I have to be on my way to my place. I don’t wanna let go of this moment but I have to.