On that evening of 15th June, 1988, Pumwani Maternity Hospital had a lot of wails, quite the norm. But the unique thing about this day is the fact that my time in your precious womb had ended. It was time to bring me into the world. I will never know the pain you underwent for the whole of the previous nine months till this day reached. Even as I watch child birth movies, I will never get close to knowing what you felt.
Growing up had its ups and downs. You washed all my dirt and taught me the basics of life – walking, eating, smiling and speech. I remember how long you used to wait for me to finish my food, tucking me into bed and washing my small body in that big blue baby basin. Crazy how we bonded coz you’re the first woman I ever fell in love with. My years of adolescence were nothing near perfect. We fought a lot. I’ll never forget the day you busted my first love letter hidden in my Mathematical Set. How you used to chase me with a stick whenever I came home looking like a scarecrow and late for supper. And gosh, were you fast! I’d say you trained me how to run when I’m in trouble. I’ve spent more time with you more than any other person in this world. That’s why even when I felt you really hurt me, I had no option than to love you still.
You are the strongest woman I have ever seen. How you took in all the hurt that dad brought you will forever remain an enigma to me. The virtues of patience, honesty, humility, hard work, politeness, that people say I have, all came from you. But perhaps what intrigues me most about you is your ability to take so much pain without breaking apart. You’ve been battered, called all unprintable names, your hair has been pulled and blows have rained on your face. Still, you are here for us and with us. All of us. You never gave up when it was the obvious thing to do. You have no idea how I always feel whenever I see you cry or even hear your sigh. I crumble, literally. Feel like beating up someone. Only that you taught me how to retain my anger, and then I try to calm down.
All these nights I go out to perform my poetry, the support you give me is overwhelming. Thank you for appreciating my talents and always giving me the chance to prove myself. That’s what keeps me going, that you believe in me. It gives me all the peace I need coz am doing what I love most. We may not be the richest people but for all those days you had to go through thick and thin to buy us that family bread, I thank you. I’ll never repay you enough for the number of times you have taken risks for my sake, forgiven me for my mistakes and taken me as I am.
To make you happy is my greatest goal, so you can enjoy the good things that passed you when you were dealing with scars. You may not have been a perfect wife or a perfect mother at some point, but am so proud of you, proud of your struggle and proud of your femininity. I’m hoping that someday I’ll have a wife who will always remind me of you, so I can take care of her like you took care of me.
I love you Mama!