My mother has perfected art of arm-twisting me for cash

She says Branton is my son and her a meal ticket.

Saturday March 12 2016

There was still some Eurobond in my pockets and I was in a sharing is caring mood. No sooner had I ordered a drink for Saphire, Nyayo and Tocla than I saw some boy walk to Hitler’s. A close look showed some uncanny similarity to me. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGAH

There was still some Eurobond in my pockets and I was in a sharing is caring mood. No sooner had I ordered a drink for Saphire, Nyayo and Tocla than I saw some boy walk to Hitler’s. A close look showed some uncanny similarity to me. ILLUSTRATION | JOHN NYAGAH 

By MWALIMU ANDREW
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Any logical person who believes in facts will agree with me that were Branton my son, he would have been born either a month earlier or two months later. His date of birth is clear evidence that I played no role to his coming to this earth.

But when he was born, the whole world conspired against me, and everyone believed that he was my son. Especially my parents. The moment my mother put her eyes on the tiny nameless baby-boy, she spat blessings on his forehead, took him from her mother and cuddled the boy softly. My father just looked at him and said: “hii ni damu yetu.”

There are those who keep saying that we look alike, with some saying that the brat’s head is my replica. Those are people who have not travelled far and wide, who have not read extensively and who do not know God’s word. Were we not all created in God’s image, don’t we therefore all look alike. Are there people who look extremely alike but come from different counties? Or countries?

All facts were clear. But being a law abiding, considerate Kenyan who would not hurt a lazy fly, I decided to accept the boy as mine, mainly driven by my love for humanity and as part of my personal corporate social responsibility. I started supporting the boy via remote control by sending his mother cash to do this and that.

Two yeas ago, with pressure from my parents, we allowed the boy to come back home. It was not easy as by this time, there was stiff opposition from Fiolina, the adorable laugh of my enviable life. Fiolina only accepted Branton when she believed that my contact with Branton’s mother would go down if we started staying with the boy.

MONTHLY EUROBOND

But recently, the same parents of mine, who fought so hard for Branton to come back home, are now up in arms. I am not surprised.  When my mother and dad kept pushing that Branton should come back home, I always suspected that there was something more than just the love for their blood. It was not their blood in the first place.

You see, when I got married, I cut down the financial taps to my parents, particularly my mother. Before I had my own wife, I would shop for my mother and send her upkeep money. After all, didn’t I eat at her house every day? But as soon a Fiolina rocked in and disrupted our lives, all these stopped. We started eating our own, and my mother stopped getting any monthly Eurobond from me.

My strong suspicions are that my mother, together with my ever conniving father did their math well. And they knew that if Branton comes, he would stay with them and I would have no option but to re-open their monthly Eurobond.

To their disbelief, Fiolina accepted Branton with both arms. But that was not for long, as soon as Fiolina went back to Mosoriot, I could not sustain preparing meals and washing for the brat, I tried hiring some lady,but my mother scuttled this plan by telling Fiolina that she would soon lose me to another woman. And just like my parents had calculated, Branton went to stay with his them.

Needless to say, mother’s monthly NYS disbursements from me to resumed. And we became close again, especially now that, I could once in a while pass by her house for supper. All was going on well until early this year. A week after I was transferred to Daraja Mbili, my father organised for a homecoming ceremony for me,

Although I had been beaten transfer to another school without any change to my meagre payslip, I know the homecoming was organised because my parents believed that my monthly NYS proceeds would triple. It took lots of convincing for my father to call off the home-coming, although he still managed to call Apostle Elkana for special prayers.

And then my parents started talking. I heard of it from Hitler’s. My old man had asked every teacher whom he talked to tell him how much a headmaster earned. As you know, although I never appointed him my financial advisor, my father always considered himself my personal director, telling everyone who cares to listen how prosperous I would be if I listened to him. In his pocket, on a piece of paper, he always has a budget for my salary, clearly telling everyone how I should spend my money. My own money.

NYS DISBURSEMENT

With all teachers not telling him, he went to Saphire. Saphire promised to do research, but never reverted him with a figure.

At the end of January when I sent to my mother what I usually sent her, I started hearing complaints from her; reaching me via the streets of Mwisho wa Lami – majorly at Hitler’s.

“Dre hii pesa ya headmaster hapana kula pekee yako,” said Rasto, once he had taken two pick-ups.

“Mshahara ukiongezwa pia unaongezea wazazi kitu,” added Raphael. It was clear they had been sent by my mother. To save face, in February, I added Sh250, although I made it clear that I had received no salary increment.

Come last week, and I gave her the normal NYS disbursement. At first she refused and gave it back to me. But as soon as I took the money, she grabbed it back, but told me to get her more money as things had become tough. “Maisha ni ngumu,” she said. I ignored.

Until last Thursday. On that day, I left school early and went straight to Hitler’s. There was still some Eurobond in my pockets and I was in a sharing is caring mood. No sooner had I ordered a drink for Saphire, Nyayo and Tocla than I saw some boy walk to Hitler’s. A close look showed some uncanny similarity to me.

It was Branton. He was wearing torn clothes, as was carrying an empty basket.

“Kukhu amenituma kwako,” he said to me when he arrived. I tried to move him aside to speak to him quietly but it would seem that he had a clear message: shout for everyone to hear.

“Hakuna unga and sukari,” he said loudly.

The other patrons openly told me to give my mother money and avoid such embarrassment.

“Na ununulie Branton nguo mpya,” said Lutta. This hurt me. Although I hadn’t bought the boy clothes in a long time, he had many better clothes than what he had worn that day. I walked with the boy to the shop where I did some shopping and walked with him to our home with the shopping.

Rather than be happy, my mother remained in a quarrelsome mood. “Kuzaa unajua na kulinda watoto haujui?” she asked when I tried to talk.

“Mwezi ujao usipotoa pesa nitamtuma shuleni uchi,” she warned.

***

 

CHALK TALK: Congratulations all 2015 KCSE candidates, particularly those of you who easily amassed A’s. Back in our day, A’s were unheard of and B’s were so rare. When I did my thing in 1999, I scored an extremely strong C-, setting a record that took years to break at Mwisho wa Lami Secondary School. Many of you think a C- is a failure.

But look at me now. I am a distinguished scholar at the much-acclaimed Kenyatta University; a respected deputy HM being fought for by two schools; an envied husband to Fiolina, another budding scholar that will change the world; an accomplished and admired father to Branton, and a most honourable member of this great hamlet and its environs.

Since all of you got above grade C-, a future better than mine awaits you. But only if you copy me and remain focused on your dreams. I am sure copying is not something you will have difficulty doing…

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