There is something about being brought up in a loving family. By a loving family, I am not talking about bribing the kids with ice cream so that they look happy for mommy’s photoshoot that will go into her Instagram page. By loving, I mean being there for each other through thick and thin. Loving each despite the fights, which sometimes end with someone missing a tooth or another one having a migraine from a hot slap. No one in the family cares what the outside people think of the family, they just do their thing without trying to show the world (that doesn’t care in the first place) how much they love each other.
Being brought up in a loving family means you hold each other to high expectations, and you let them know that you expect high standards from them. And they also let you know of the standards they expect of you. The occasional fall is expected, but it doesn’t mean the standards are lowered. For example, my mother says things like, “If you are going to bring home a girl who will sit on MY sofa to watch MY tv while I cook for her in the kitchen, please bring a girl that knows how to run. Because once I’m done the cooking, I’ll chase her out of my home with the cooking stick.” And my dad says things like, “Once you come here jumping that you have graduated, the only time I’m giving you money is if I’m sending you to the shops. And since grown-ups don’t get sent to the shops like little children, forget about seeing my money once you graduate.” Dad also says that he is only working his ass off to educate us, and he will consider voluntary retirement once our last born graduates- which is 5 years or more before his official retirement.
That’s mom’s way of telling us that he expects us to make good choices of spouses. Uhai bora, sio bora uhai. That’s also dad’s way of telling us that he expects us to carve out our own paths, and after carving out our own paths, we should hold on to his hands just the same way he held ours when we couldn’t find a path to follow. We try not to let them down. That’s why we keep asking you to share our posts with your friends. Just in case our day jobs don’t make us enough money to send some to Jaujimbe down in the village, this blog can rake in enough to afford him a bottle of whisky once in a while.
We also have our expectations of them as our parents. Both of them are teachers. Just like my grandpa and grandma were. As we all know, teachers’ strike is an annual event. I still don’t understand why we haven’t gazetted it yet. So during those family moments when we are gathered in the sitting room chatting up and making fun of each other, we tell them things. Things like, if we ever see them in the news beating up innocent sufurias, dancing weirdly and chanting hunger songs because the government has refused to give them a 26bob pay rise, that’s the day we will stop being their children. So during their annual strikes, dad wakes up at 10 am to watch Mr Bean in between news briefs till 9 pm. Mom always has something else to do, because she is a hardworking woman who doesn’t like sitting around. Sitting around makes her sick. In fact, if she had her way, TV would only be watched during news briefs. And the station would be Citizen TV, because news ya Citizen ni tamu kushinda ya stations zingine.
So when a woman appeared in the pro-Obado campaigns carrying a “ngama otho ka chode to uywage nang’o” (why do you mourn someone who has died in the line of prostitution), I was very surprised. Not because it was a woman “bringing another woman down.” To be honest, it didn’t matter to me whether it was a man or a woman carrying the placard. I find ‘you should support this because you are a luo/kikuyu/woman/man/lesbian/straight/christian’ logic stupid. Let people make independent decisions on which side they want to be in.
People are asking if she would be carrying such a placard if it had been her daughter in a similar situation. Which is why I’m surprised. Does she have a daughter? Does she have a family? If yes, why did they let her embarrass them on national TV? The woman may have felt no shame doing what she was doing (the bag has to be secured after all, at all costs), but did the family know that when a madman runs naked in the market, it is the family of the madman that feels the shame and not the madman? My hope is that when she came back in the evening, they called a family meeting and made her apologize for dragging the family name through the mud. Or better, made her apologize to the family, after which they changed their identities and sneaked out to the land of Bosco Katolo. Family members who love each other shouldn’t let each other embarrass themselves in public.
Moral of the story: If your family lets you embarrass yourself in public (real life or social media), consider setting yourself up for adoption because you are obviously staying with people that don’t love you. Let me put it in a simpler way to understand: When you are dead, you don’t feel it. It is only the people around you that feel the pain. It is the same when you are stupid. So when the people around you don’t feel the pain of your stupidity, it means you are all dead to each other.