MUM STORIES: My widowed mother did menial jobs to provide for us

Monday May 13 2019

Maria Mumbi describes her mother, Hannah Muthoni as a fortress of hope, strength and love. PHOTO| COURTESY

Maria Mumbi describes her mother, Hannah Muthoni as a fortress of hope, strength and love. PHOTO| COURTESY 

MARGARET W. MAINA
By MARGARET W. MAINA
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Maria Mumbi describes her mother, Hannah Muthoni as a fortress of hope, strength and love.

Despite the ups and downs of life, her 59-year-old mother never gave up.

Maria’s grandmother died when her mother was only six years old, leaving Hannah in the care of a stepmother.

Life was tough for Hannah but she pulled through because of a positive attitude and her faith in God.

Hannah tells her children that she only had one dress which served as her uniform and Sunday best .

At 18, Hannah got married and moved to Mau Summit with her beloved husband. Her marital bliss was short-lived as five years later, her husband was diagnosed with asthma and diabetes and this meant that on many occasions, she  was the sole provider of the family.

LIFE WAS HARD

“Life became hard at some point and we had to move to my maternal grandmother’s place in Kabazi where we were given a small house where,” recalls Maria.

Hannah was allocated a small shamba to plant some food crops but when they were about to mature, her brother-in-laws slashed them all down with and sent them packing.

“My mother did not have any money at that time and so she went and worked on a neighbours' farm and she was paid Sh150 per day. We used this as bus fare to go to Free Area in Nakuru,” says Maria.

With four children, the fourth one being three weeks old, a sick husband and no household items, Hannah rented a house and started working on people’s shambas, selling groceries, farming, washing clothes in order to fend for her family.

But in 1998, her husband succumbed to illness, leaving her with seven children and expecting another one, with the first born having just completed secondary education.

“After dad’s burial, a meeting was held so that they can know what will be the way forward but rather the meeting brought darkness in us since the in- laws insisted that we should be taught to fend for ourselves and not continue with our education,” Mumbi laments.

Hannah was left stranded but despite being bereaved she soldiered on and did everything to be a provider for her kids.

18 years later, Mumbi and her siblings always thank God for giving them such a strong mother who believed in them and educated them, who stood up for them and gave all herself for them to reach to their dreams.

 

 

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