Through the eyes of my father

As the sun slowly spread its wings and the village came to life, there was a tense mood hovering over Ambaya’s homestead. The people of Mungoma went about their daily chores with the young men rushing off to till the shamba as the young maidens swept the compounds. Ambaya, as much as he wanted to couldn’t join the other lads to take care of his vast lands and livestock. He paced around his compound and every now and then he would sit at his favorite corner and be lost in thought. The young maiden he had wedded was expecting a child.

His mother massaged the young woman and encouraged her as the contractions increased by the minute. Things were looking grim as their neighbor Manda had recently lost his wife during child birth. Ambaya had done all he could to ensure his wife’s pregnancy was smooth. He treated her as the most precious thing he had ever laid his eyes on making sure she only handled light duties that did not cause any stress or strain to her.

His mother on the hand ensured her diet was a healthy one made up of mainly kienyeji vegetables, indigenous fruits harvested from a far off forest not forgetting the famous Maragoli staple food ugali and chicken and every once in a while when businessmen went to Kisuma the young lady would enjoy a delicacy of dried fish.  When it came to drinks, the numerous cows and goats in the compound produced enough milk that saw this lady drink tea that only contained milk with no single drop of water and spiced with some local herbs that made it sweet and nutritious.  

As the sun reached its climax and shone so brightly that it could not be ignored, Ambaya became more worried and almost broke down in tears imagining he could lose his wife whom he loved so dearly. Those who had gone to the farm started trekking back home with some carrying food stuffs they had harvested, firewood and the maidens came back with pots of water. The farmhands quickly prepared their master’s favorite meal but he would not have any of it. They begged and pleaded but he chose to shut himself from the rest of the world and pray that his wife would make it through. As the hours went by his worries grew and he almost didn’t hear the screams of a baby from his wife’s hut. He was the father of a bouncing baby boy.

A smile slowly played on his lips, the excitement that was building up on the inside almost saw him leap up with joy but he chose to suppress his feelings lest he was viewed less of a man. He paced up and down his hut as he awaited to see his new born and every minute felt like years. His mother kept him waiting for awhile as she made sure the new mother was well taken care of. She wrapped the little bundle in a piece of fine goat skin that was specifically prepared for such an occasion and headed to her son’s hut. Ambaya could not hold back his tears anymore as he held his firstborn son in his arms. He was now a total man and could be offered a seat at the table of men and even given a chance to voice his opinion among the elders.

The young boy was named Mihadia, the year 1878. He was later nicknamed chumukira because he lived at the far end of his farm and had lots of cattle. Being the firstborn son, he was pampered and well taken care of by his parents and grew into a morally upright young man who was very hardworking and principled. His younger brother, Mande had no choice but to emulate him. With no formal schooling at the time, sons were only taught the basics of life like farming, hunting from the older men while daughters received tutelage from their mothers on how to cook, clean and take care of the home.

As the days went by, Mihadia grew into a handsome young man with physical attributes that if he had lived in present day would confidently pass as Mr World and compete with the likes of Boris Kodjoe, Denzel Washington in the looks department. Tall, handsome, hardworking and having inherited a big piece of land from his father; spanning all the way from Chanzeywe, down to Madzuu, Kitulu and Erosoma and down to the river that when you cross, you get to Chambaya village, the young man had a hard time choosing a wife because many girls were more than willing to accept him, and when he finally made his choice, his wife was a beauty to behold and her character led mama’s in the village wish their girls were like her. Kamonya was her name.

Though a busy man because of all he had to take care of, Mihadia always spared a few moments to spend with his wife. One beautiful morning in the year 1885 as the sun rays started breaking the dawn, Kamonya the beautiful young maiden who nicknamed herself Akwigina Maringedi (Akwigina because she was a go getter and maringedi –always said her daughters will get married and bring her lots of blankets) gave birth to a handsome healthy baby boy who was named Imbisi and christened Isaiah. She later had 7 more children; five sons and two daughters. Mande on the other side who married Mitevane was only blessed with baby girls. Having embraced the white man’s religion, all of Mihadia’s children had Christian names.

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One Response to Through the eyes of my father

  1. This took me baaaack home. Wow. Didn’t know you can right soft pieces this well – always thought you are the SERIOUS stuff writer. Beautiful.

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