When I was about three years old, I got lost from home. I had this great affinity for my father (well, I still do) and I would follow him everywhere he went; so one night as he left the house he left the door slightly ajar, I followed him outside. I wandered off into the streets of Eastleigh at 8 p.m. trying to catch up with him and after a few corners and turns, I got lost.
Obviously scared and alone, I slumped down on the ground, wailing. Luckily I landed near a kiosk which happened to be the shop of a lovely woman who was a friend to my mum. She happened to hear me cry and took me into her shop. It was quite late for her to still have the shop open and she wanted to hurry home to be with her children and family, but she didn’t want to leave the shop until my mother; who she had earlier called, arrived and took me home.
My mother told me this story years after, with obvious concern in her voice because she couldn’t imagine losing me. She had only left the room for a minute to get me food from the kitchen and the next minute I was gone, following my father like a lost puppy. It also happens that if someone else would have taken me, I would probably be married off somewhere in the North Eastern region of the country with 7 or more kids now. She laughed about that. I didn’t. But time and again, I remember that lady and her generosity towards me; and every day I’m thankful for Kenyan mothers and their amazing souls.
See, mothers are gentle spirits. They may not be related to you in any way but a mother would make sure that in whatever circumstance you are in, she can help out in the best way she can.
I’m pretty certain that in the years you’ve been alive, you’ve come across the generosity of random women. You know those who meet you along the street and they gently take you aside and tell you that your skirt is a little crooked and lovingly ask you to straighten it up.
The ones who make sure that you’re fed and satisfied whenever you visit their home as you go to see your friend; and no matter how much you insist on your belly being full, she will insist on you taking something. You can never leave an African home hungry, and we bless God for that.
We have all experienced the kindness of a Kenyan mom. The one who makes sure that even when you haven’t been visited yet, or even when you’re parents are a bit late, will make sure that you at least have something to eat and also have something small to carry.
The ones who willingly want to carry your baby just so you could get your baby’s blanket from your bag or those who just throw in a word of advice or two especially when you’re using public transportation. It may seem annoying at first, but once you sit back and think about what they mentioned, it makes total sense to you.
The great philosopher Plato said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle,” and God only knows the trials that a woman faces, but still manages a warm smile on her face. So even as we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, remember the kindness that a random woman once showed you and try your very best to reciprocate the favor.