Entertainment and Lifestyle

Where did the old disciplinarian Kenyan mums go to?

Whatever happened to the good old ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’ wise saying? I’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of running away from school just because you felt some resentment against the school. Maybe it’s the food (no cheese cake dessert?). Maybe it’s the school colour theme, or maybe no make-up was allowed in school and as we all know, make-up ranks first in the basic needs list, hmmm. Or maybe the school tuck shop run out of airtime, and who in this world would survive without bundles? We’d all be probably dead without ‘the
gram’
.

If you were raised by serious Kenyan mothers, there is a pretty good chance you will never throw a tantrum in her presence. But if you felt ‘commandoish’ and dared do it, a sizzling hot slap would grace your face before you even finished your statement. The secret was to humbly (with all humility you’d harvest) state whatever objections you had and God bless your soul if you’d get a solution.

Rule number one, your parents were always right. Plus no Kenyan parent was number two in class, they were all number ones. Very wise. Now tell me, what makes you think you and your objections would surpass their witty selves? You get whipped. They get spanked today. I got whipped with slippers (flip-flops, in case you’re wondering), belts, mwikos,
basically anything they’d get their hands on at the heat of the moment. And oh, it was always better to take the whipping immediately—running away would only aggravate the degree of your crime.

It doesn’t end there. When offered food or something as innocent as Goody
Goody
during a courtesy visit or random bump-in, it was not only wise, but absolutely wise to look in her direction and get the all-clear (forced friendly smile) or the jaribu
uone
(try it and die) stare. When mama sends the latter signal, you politely decline the offer albeit salivating.

So, when news broke about the girl who ran away from school (only to be found in Mombasa) just because she didn’t like the school, I remembered my mum. This chill run down my spine. What about the three girls from a school in Kiambu? Found in Ngara with boyfriends? Yaani you run away from school to cuddle with some, yo
yo
this yo
yo
that fella? I wouldn’t fancy their toughees. Anyone raised by an African mum in our times wouldn’t want to be in these shoes!

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