Here’s a guest blog by my brother Naftali. I will allow him to introduce himself in his own words. His write up has been inspired by the current teachers’ strike in Kenya and he wanted to share this on Kamal’s Korner.
A Fiercely loyal, half introvert half extrovert Virgo who is your typical DIY man, rally enthusiast, fan of lame jokes & most probably wont die a natural death… Born in 85 to a factory manager dad & teacher mum, was at one point the sharpest in his class but ADHD got the best of him making him skive school on his first day in nursery school. A herds boy at some point with a passion for radio, hates anything serious, doesn’t own a suit, treats his car as his woman, jealously protects his own & will be the last man standing on your side… maybe.
Well, my mum’s a teacher…. and she’s on strike. hate me or love me, I support her…not only cuz she’s my mum, but because she was my teacher and I owe her for who I am today.
Yes she birthed me but she didn’t hold back the hand of discipline as/when I strayed… which was very often. When she was the teacher on duty, she would wake me up in the morning, milk the cow, prepare breakfast for the family, serve my dad breakfast, take a shower & prepare for work where she would report at 6.30 am. If I got to school later than her, she’d punish me with the other students.
I wasn’t favored of the other kids just because she was my mum and as/when I would get into fights, be caught mimicking teachers or having skived from school, I was severely punished.
My mum was my home science teacher and she wanted to see me apply what I learned at home. I started doing my laundry when I was in class 4, cooking for the family when I was in class 6. That said, I have 4 sisters & a house help but I still had to do house chores.
As soon as school was over, she would get done with her social responsibilities, come home and I’d accompany her to the forest to fetch firewood, come home and fend feed for the cow, milk & she’d start preparing dinner for the family. As the food cooks, she’d have some time with dad, as she kept an eye at me as I did my homework, serve dinner & as soon as my sisters & I did the dishes, she’ll nap on the couch for an hour or so, clean the house& get into the covers past midnight…
From April 1994, when my dad lost his job & turned to farming, I have seen her sacrifice her joy, spending on fashionable clothes and trips… to keep us in school. My sisters & I have never been chased for school fees; she’s had loans upon loans just to be able to afford a good education… All my sisters went to boarding school from class 3 and her sacrifices have paid off as my elder sister has her masters, the second born has her degree, the other one is in her 3rd year & the last one will soon be starting her 2nd year soon.
I doubt my mum has gone to the bank to pick any cash as soon as her paycheck comes in… she has had to do with loans, bank overdrafts, Sacco’s & selling milk& farm produce to the locals to supplement her 30,000 Kshs salary… yet she wakes up everyday, treks 2kms to work and teaches the next doctor, lawyer, musician, entrepreneur, lawmaker from the bottom of her heart…. Why shouldn’t she ask her employer for a better pay? I am sorry your child is at home instead of being in school but my mum deserves better than what she’s asking for.