People usually joke about the joys and tribulations of being raised by African parents. People have told stories of the punishment their mothers used to give them when they were still young. Some of the stories of Kenyan mum punishments are hilarious. One thing to note is the similarities in all these stories.
A Twitter user by the name @QuincyWandera gave an ordeal of how the mother reacted to hearing his friend being disrespectful. The mother heard her son’s friend speaking disrespectfully to his mother. Fearing that her son may do the same to her, she slapped him, telling him never to speak to her in such a manner. When we thought punishment came after a mistake, a Kenyan mother was more punctual and administered her punishment before the actual act happened.
It turned out that this person was not alone. A lot of people had almost similar experiences while growing up.
A user by the name @Jkambura had the same experience. The friend of this user smoked, and the mother heard about it. He was given an advanced beating as a warning, which has kept him from smoking to date.
The experience of @Enochwilder3 was similar to this one. At school meetings, the mother used to address parents and students. Amidst what she had to say, she would clarify that she was willing to discipline the son if he was found to be misbehaving.
Cigarettes must have been a very bad thing to be found with when young. But, unfortunately, @EddieUnited had some in his possession. Something that led to all his friends getting a serious beating for associating with him.
From this response, When everyone was busy giving the stories of how their mothers disciplining them shaped their lives positively, someone brought about Amerix into the whole conversation. A user named @The_Yana8 wondered how anyone could praise women in the TL while Amerix teachings had a different view on women. This caught me off guard because I thought mothers were exempted from Amerix’s arguments.
Reading through the comments will leave you wondering why one wouldn’t just run and avoid a beating. On this thought, @MsMaryanneK stated that one wouldn’t have made it because they were sprinters by nature. So you would have needed to be a Usain Bolt to get away.
One thing somebody noted was that mothers reserved punishment sometimes. There was a season in which one could get away with a mistake without punishment. Then one day, one slip and boom. @Carmago_Broker wrote that one would be repeatedly beaten for all the piled-up wrongs that went unpunished.
Then, the punishment was different when one was a firstborn. Here, one is beaten even for the sibling’s mistakes. The firstborns were deputy parents so that no wrong should happen under their watch; otherwise, they’d be answerable. So, from this response, @_makorie must be a firstborn.
Any form of being careless attracted a very serious beating for some people. I look at such cases and sometimes think that mothers feared their children turning out to be careless in adulthood. Hence, the punishment was supposed to deter such carelessness.
A Swahili saying that goes like, “samaki mkunje angali mbichi” would be appropriate for the experience of a user by the name @its_macmuga. This saying means the earlier one takes action, the better. His mother must have been waiting for the opportune moment to deal with his new habit of taking things without permission.
Talking of advance beating wading off bad behaviours from developing, a user by the name @shiryy must have had the same experience as @quincywandera. She wrote that this pre-beating put you in a state of constant awareness to stay well-behaved; otherwise, discipline was around the corner.
The spirit of collective responsibility must have been cultivated at home, where one sibling’s mistake counted as everyone’s mistake. From the response of a user named @Brianbabayao, each child ought to have been responsible for the brother or sister.
When a brother or a sister is punished, one had better be in a place where the cane cannot reach. Otherwise, the darling mother could extend the beating for the mistakes one made that went unpunished. A user by the name @Nazzy254 detailed an occurrence where this happened to them.
It’s natural to want to defend oneself when getting a beating. However, please do not do this to a Kenyan mother because it would be translated as something different and an act of villainy. Her brother blocked their mum’s slap, and the aftermath was Hague at home.
This tweet by the user by the name of@babji_elimelech, got me thinking of how one never knew when a beating would come because you wouldn’t prevent your sibling from making a mistake.
Children used to be very excited when going on a journey—going for a journey used to involve getting dressed in either new clothes or clothes reserved for such special occasions. But, when ones get beaten and left behind for having made themselves dirty, it becomes a double tragedy like the case of this Twitter user here.
From this response, the punishment got even worse when it involved misusing money at home. Mothers took this mistake more seriously than a criminal offence. @mainman_maina may never forget this day his whole life.
When your mother is a teacher and your class teacher simultaneously, an issue may arise, especially when she is a strict disciplinarian. Life becomes more difficult because she would discipline you both at home and school. A user named @DonCosta254 was in this situation and had to step back and take a firm stand on what would work for him.
There is the thinking that mothers wanted the best for their children, and that’s why they were strict. But another Twitter user had a different perspective on the reason behind their strictness. According to @mis_bettie, colonial mistreatment must have something to do with how mothers handled children.
Someone had a perfect name for what happened to @QuincyWandera, a deterrence slap.
There was no way a homework session would miss in this conversation. Doing homework with Kenyan mothers around needs to be added to a hundred ways to increase thinking speed because any form of slow thinking could lead to some unpleasant experiences. A user named @idriss_shaban wrote of his experience, and it was something else.
All through, Kenyans thought that their mothers were the only ones with this strictness, only for Tanzanians to come and claim that these stories were also about their mothers. So it’s an African mother thing.
Then, there are those children who could not take a beating for something they did not do. The rules for this type of individual changed. The beating could not work for them, and punishments like being locked outside seemed ideal.
For those raised by their grandmothers, these stories were alien to them. Grandmothers could be very doting, so canes and serious punishment are unheard of.
Most Kenyan mothers have read from the same script of taking discipline a notch higher. When young, most individuals saw these punishments as inhumane, but most narrators now view them differently.
I am a writer currently focusing on the short story genre. So far, I have written other genres that have been published including trending stories.