Slut! That’s what her mother called her in the middle of an argument she believes was so damn dumb. It was a series of uncalled for arguments her mum had unleashed on her but this one was the hell breaker. Being called a slut set her off. Like that one word you know you can never stand to be called. I guess that was in addition to her breaking point that at the time, her ever full of life 16 year old personality had been held head down and under the water for too long and she couldn’t help but break.
She stormed out of the house feeling like a defeated buffalo. Anger had clogged her throat and despair worn over her heart. She didn’t care for shit anymore at the time. Or if she did, just not the kind of shit that’d see her dream she had a miscarriage two weeks later. It was just a dream, she must have woken up saying. But was it?
The first time I saw her, I thought to myself that she has a nice body. That was in a picture or series of pictures because well, she really does post a lot of them in her WhatsApp stories. She is just the type you’ll not fail to notice. So yes, that’s probably just as much a first picture did say. And she smiles a lot. Like so big you’d think if you tried to smile that big you’d get hurt. She is beautiful. Now the influx of pictures overtime with a series of life-full captions would say she’s the type that’s is pumped with self awareness. A gem that you don’t just find lying around anywhere.
It would be easy to tell that she exudes a lot of life and positivity. That nothing can just shut her down without experiencing a viscous fight back from her. Though she doesn’t look like she can bite your ears mjango, I was sort of proved wrong later. No she didn’t bite my finger. What would I have been on my way to touch that she’d bite such a useful part of me. She said she behaves like a mother dog when an unfamiliar being dares go close to her puppies – when you dare touch her son.
So yes, that’s the part we were headed for and will be probably for the next couple of weeks. She is a mom. A young mom of a handsome young man she says he says he has beards and she believes him. I withheld my offence because my chinny chin chin speaks for itself yet a three year old dare say he has beards. She came close to deepening the wound when she asks whether my beards are real. Just swallow it mjango. I did too. It’s painful, but I did too.
Her zealousness and over-noticeable aura, even virtually is one to behold. Add that to how proud and staunch she is about this man Jesus. So it’s like this.
This young lady, probably not more than 22? So enthusiastic about God and life. But she has a son. Okay, scratch the but. She has a son. A revision of her social media updates have proven beyond doubt that that’s her son. He’s not adopted no. It can’t be. He’s her’s. (Read that again hehe.) The boy looks no younger than four. Maybe three. Well, of all the guys she has and does post like everyone loud about life in these times does, no one there has ever been pointed directly or indirectly as the father to the young man. So what on earth could be the story behind all these.
She responded to my WhatsApp beckoning for young moms who are willing to share their lovely stories. When I asked her to tell me about herself in the interview on a night phone call that had turned chairs into tables for days before we could finally get it over with – she said.
“I’m a student in university, probably graduating in a year. I’m an introverted extrovert, a sanguine. I’m super hyper,” I nodded in silence as I jotted because that was so evident, “I have a caring heart. I’m heavy in structures. I love things done in a certain way. When I leave a cup on the table half full, I’d want to get back and find it like that. I’m highly misinterpreted because I don’t explain myself. I never explain myself. Talented, loud, a good speaker, shy,” I smirked. “Ambitious, I love to sell my vision and walk with people who are sold out to my vision. A staunch believer though not as ‘spiritual’ as people quickly presume. Uhm what else? Oh, I’m short, have an ass and hips,” I laugh and ask her whether she really had to say though maybe I love that she did. So at least I was not the only one who had spotted the obvious in her pictures. Meet that with a flat tummy. Recently I noticed that she works out. The beauty don’t stop her. Now it’s not surprising why she loves croptops. She has so many of them. The rest of us who have the other type of tummies dare not either take off our shirts in public or wear croptops.
She said dudes usually ask her, “Mbona unakuanga umeiva hivo?”
She is very picky about guys who dare themselves to get close to her heart. “Guruma! Mwanaume anafaa kuguruma. You should roll and carry yourself like the man that it’s evident all around that you’re the man here. Of course you get what I mean. Now imagine I am very dominant and I have a very bold personality. If I end up with a man who doesn’t know how to commandeer his manhood, he’ll always feel intimated by me. Because I am an Alpha Woman.”
I felt something jump in me when she said she’s an Alpha Woman.
She hasn’t grown up with a father figure in her life. Her teenage years were spent looking for a father figure in the guys she ended up with. “I realised I need to be contented in myself before I get a father figure.”
Anyway, she loves tall guys more because in addition to being short herself, she loves hugs. Long hugs. Okay long in duration but as I’m trying to express, long in height too. So the last thing and most important that makes her very picky about guys is this. If you were checking your list mjango, here’s where the real exam is. You say you’re good at cheating in exams? Try cheating your way to salvation. A born again man who serious about the Lord is what makes her picky. So the exam question is just one word, “Utawezana?”
“I may seem like any other Christian girl desiring a Godly man but honestly, I have had a bad experience with men in my life. First the lack of a father figure followed by being raped three times before I was 16. What was even worse about it was how unsupportive my family was. I mean, I was the victim just why wouldn’t they stand for me? It was awful.”
Sometimes she had reason to say she was the black sheep in the family. Clearly segregated by the rest because in their own silent thoughts, their perception of her crows difference louder than a cockerel at the face of death. Like that sibling in the family who always feels like every bad thing is imposed and attributed to them. Some chores are presumed to be the type only they are can and should do. Is there a dirty sufuria ya ugali sitting comfortably in the sink the whole day? Only that one sibling is probed and eventually incriminated as a lazy ass. Even when the duty for the dishes wasn’t theirs. In my observation, most of the time these siblings are the middle ones. They are neither the first borns nor the last borns. Somewhere there hanging in the middle of the family frame trying to find their spot. And so yes, she is the second born among four.
That day some chores hadn’t been done. Part of those chores were her duty. Her mum came home from work that evening and nobody else was grilled about undone chores but her. From the way words were exchanged like poo fight, so recklessly and bitterly. From the way those words were being amplified like a devil’s crusade, you’d think someone had committed a cardinal sin in that house. Everyone commits sins. But there’s that one caliber of sin, so obscene and abominable that must have been unheard of, intolerable and unforgivable in that house. And at the scene of that argument with sharp intonations and words even a witch is too scared to utter, was the cardinal sin of an undone chore. Just that. An undone chore that she was not the only one guilty of. And in the processes, her mum called her a prostitute, more specifically, a slut.
The crusade and everyone on the mic went silent. Like the angel of death was passing and a little noise from you would make you the favourite of the day. Someone had been insulted a word that was unbearable to the heart. She had no verbal retaliation for that. She didn’t have the strength to. Who knew that just one insolate word would run so deep. That was it for her.
She walked out the way she was. Bitterness smoking out of her ears, the chimney of her now furiously burning gut.
“I left saying I was going to prove to her then the slut she said I am. I didn’t know where I was going. I was just going. The road, confusion and anger led me to a library where we used to go study. I had contemplated over going to a church but the pastor there had once tried to molest me.”
In my mind, I sighed. In my notebook I wrote, ‘But the pastor tried to molest her.’ Scribbled a line over and over again under it and sighed again.
“Around there some guys were drinking and smoking. Some of them looked familiar but generally I didn’t know them but they seemed to know me. Like many people know me but I don’t know them. I just joined them like, “Form ni gani hapa.” I drank some alcohol but I didn’t like it. It felt like it something in it. My head felt like yet it was a sip or two. I needed out of there because it was getting late and I didn’t know anyone among them. I couldn’t go back home. So I called this guy who had been hitting on me for a long time but I was never interested. I still wasn’t only that at the time, he’s the only one who I knew who lived around. He came and we went to his house. The following day, I woke up and he asked to talk to me.”
I tell myself that I’ll remind her that she has fast forwarded the entire night. In fact, that’s not forwarding. She had pressed next.
“I was like, “Kwani what’s there to talk about?” Then he said, “We had sex last night.” I was like, what? Without my consent?”
“Wait! Wait! Wait a minute here.” I had to interrupt. “Aje sasa? What happened to the story between you getting into the house and waking up the following morning? What happened?”
“I don’t remember.”
I then had an exclamatory laughter. “What do you mean you don’t remember?”
“I just don’t remember.”
It then occurred to me how sensitive that part was, so I gave it a rest. Then I didn’t give it a rest, but this time, with the respect I felt it should be accorded.
“Forgive me, but if you were in my place, you’d understand why it is quite hard to understand just how you cannot recall anything about that night. Like even a trailer. Were you tipsy?”
“Was I what?”
Shitty mobile network.
“I’m sorry I can’t hear that word well.”
Oh hell! My patience was boiling.
“Were you drank?”
“Oh you mean tipsy. No. I wasn’t. But I just don’t remember.”
Sigh. “Okay so were you mad.”
“Sort of. I was empathetic. I was blaming myself for calling him. So I just left. That’s why I said God is teaching me to set boundaries.”
Well she did talk about how she delivers a swift bite, black mamba style – when her boundaries are crossed. But not as violently as I make it sound mjango. She just doesn’t keep quiet when people behaves ill mannerly towards her and things that relate to her or more especially her son. She has learned to have the ability to tell someone forthrightly that she doesn’t like when they do this and that to her on the spot. Which to me is the best first lesson before resolving to take Kung Fu and karate classes.
The school holiday ran out of juice quicker than anyone notices as usual. Two weeks after that night, she was in another school for the Science Congress. She was good at these things. Maths especially. While someone like me on the other hand, hijacked a seat for academic events in other schools in the name of journalism. “Collecting stories and pictures for the magazine,” We’d say.
Being visitors in a foreign school, they slept on mattresses on the floor I want to assume because they were so many. She had a dream that the girl sleeping next to her kicked her and she miscarried. Marry a mjango babe who dreams with so much vigour like that you’ll get your ass kicked every night.
I didn’t ask whether she woke up and switched positions. But shortly after they got back to school, she not having a bad record of fees asked the principal whether she’d also go along with all the others being sent home for fees arrears. The principal had a soft spot for her. So she let her go though not before trying to convince her to stay since there was an upcoming Maths contest that weekend. She thought but didn’t say that the Maths contest can kiss, that which she proudly said she has – this time. Now had it not been for that, probably she’d have gone to do Math and she’d have seen if not met me there taking pictures like the proud journalism member and retired Editor of the club I was.
“I took a test at home and it showed two lines.”
For the mjangos and mjango babes who haven’t still interacted with pregnancy tests probably by chance, choice, denial or ignorance, two lines means, as she told me because I wasn’t also sure I knew – you’re properly pregnant. So two lines maybe to seriously underscore the fact that your pregnancy is as sure as the rising sun.
“No one knew until seven months.”
Naively, “How now?”
“All I know is I still wore croptops, even went for hiking and so forth.”
“Did you tell the guy?”
“Yeah. And his response was nasty. Ati I go and mess around with men out there then when I get pregnant I come telling him it’s his. I just hang up and never talked to him again.”
“Well no. Much later after my son was born he came and apologised and all. Most of the times he came when drank. I once told him that the only role he played and will ever play was being a sperm donor. He will never be the father my son deserves. That hit him and he went MIA I don’t know for how long.”
The air smelled of KCSE. She now had to let the world know through her own means otherwise she won’t be able to control how the react when they find out for themselves. She started with the principal, the irony of ironies.
The principal laughed, “What makes you so sure? Ama ni exam fever.”
She insisted that she new what she was saying but the principal didn’t buy an ounce of it. So she called the matron to take her to the nearest clinic for a test. So be it. She didn’t need other two lines to present her the reality she was already fully aware of and had accepted.
“Matron was like, “Leave the door open as you pee on the stick.” I’m like seriously? I’m the one who has brought myself forward, why would I want to fake the results?”
So no door was left open while she helped herself on a plastic stick that day. Even the doctor was worried for her yet she had been through all that.
“Just how were you able to remain calm in the event of such a potentially life changing and societally delicate reality?”
“Accepting myself. I answered all the questions that were in my mind and that I could be asked by anyone. I eventually was prepared for people to know.”
Even wild fire doesn’t spread as fast as news about pregnancy.
“Girls are very mouthy! I was the talk of the days and it was becoming annoying. So one day I stood up in my class and called for order. I spoke and said “Sijaekwa ball na chali ya mtu hapa. So all these talk about me should stop and focus your energies on whatever brought you to school.
I’d rather be a wise pregnant woman than a stupid virgin!” And she dropped the mic.
Her mum was called to school casually. Upon arrival, she was told that her daughter was pregnant. She didn’t say anything. She gave her daughter pocket money and left. She never talked to her again until the end of her KCSE.
Coming back home from high school with two shapes, a box and a ball. The second shape was the catalyst for the further loosening of the already present Van Der Waal bonds between her and her family. (That’s just as much Chemistry as I remember.)
Her elder sister always seemed bothered by how she was always excited and full of life.
“I had really wanted to join Strathmore University. So she said, “You thought you’d go to Strathmore?”
The mockery virus had even caught the younger sister. “Unadhani nikiwa mkubwa nitakuwa na mimba kama wewe?“
She had never gone for prenatal care. She panicked when her friend once asked her whether she had ever done so. It’s a miracle she gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby.
One time she got fed up with how her mum was treating and getting overly mad at her son. Sometimes she’d never even help with money to buy diapers. She moved out with her son. They lived in a container house which normally gets cold at night. The little man got sick and her mum finally grew the heart to ask her to let the baby go back home. They’d take care of him.
“Nowadays, though I still moved out to a better house eventually, I even do shopping for my mum. Oh and by the way I got the scholarship to Strathmore.”
It’s easy for someone to think that it’s all about the pregnancy. But never about the after effects of the pregnancy. Especially when you hadn’t planned for it and the man who is responsible is only as good as a sperm donor.
“The first boyfriend I can actually call a boyfriend that I ever had was in 2017. You know relationships are meant for two people to grow together and build each other up in life. Be there for one another. Ours was nothing close to that. It was purely about sex. I was addicted to sex. Not that I enjoyed it. But it seemed to be the way to satisfy the pain I had been subjected to. So that was just it. I broke up with him when I found out that he had a kid. I was like, he’s no different from other men. A bag of lies.”
She had her second boyfriend later in November 2018 to March 2019. She broke up with this one when she found a girl sitting on his lap. With or without an actual boyfriend, the inner battle would win over her.
“There’s this guy in 2019. We were best friends. One time the conversation went from normal to sexting and he asked whether we could smash. I went to his place. After that somehow we just dwindled till we didn’t talk anymore. The third guy I kinda dated, I’d call it an entanglement. It was for two months slightly into 2020 then God told me no.”
“Tell me how and when you met God.”
“I grew up going to church and all. But never really believed like on a personal level you know. I was just there. In the camp we had gone to where God told me no to that guy, whose dad is actually a prophet, towards the end of the camp, we had a worship and prayer session. I love to write by the way. My way of praying sometimes is to write. So I sat and I don’t know, something just came over me and I just wrote a lot. Even after everyone was done I was still in my own realm. That was also after a certain man of God told me that he had foreseen something about me. That I would be a great evangelist. He wanted me to meet Reinhard Bonnke. Now hear this, that was the same day Reinhard died. So he just told me to pray over it.
Now I am in an Evangelical School. I’ll be graduating this December after we go for three missions. Anyway I may not be perfect. I’m not. I still get horny and it haunts me especially before and after my periods. But Paul says in Romans 7.15, the things I want to do, I don’t do. And that which I don’t want to do, I do. That which I hate, I do. It’s only trusting in God to help me through each day not to fall back. And I also have a part to play because God can only help me if I help myself. I have replaced sex with long hugs. It may be debatable that it’s not any better but at least it helps me not do the worst. Then when my periods approach, I go spend the week at my friends place away from people.”
I ask about her son. He’s three and he has a unique name.
“Is he there?”
“No, he is at my mum’s.”
“Oh nice. So you don’t talk to the dad? Does your son know his dad?”
“Not really. But lately he’s been trying to prove himself and be nice. Well after several push backs, he gets to see him. Last Sunday was the first time they hanged out together by themselves.”
“What did you think of God after the experience you’ve had with men?”
“I had known dads to be bad. At the stage, I felt like that is the nature of God. He allows bad things to happen to His kids, and then He makes things right. I had known dads to be bad then apologize later on. But later on I understand that things happen for a reason. As much as He allowed that to happen, He had a bigger picture in mind and I’m learning how to see it. He’s not a bad God.”