Don’t Defy Great Aunt

You think she is mean, huh? She will tell you that she never forced him get married, she will tell you that she didn’t force her either. Yes, she had introduced them but she had never forced them. Yeah, now she hears that she complains that he is never home.

          “Kimezidi na kile! Why does she think God gave us to push a head as bid as a water melon through a whole as small as a needle point?” She curses to nobody in particular, “It’s because He knows that all this is chicken feed to us – we are strong enough to overcome all this. Kimayai kikubwa!”

          “He gives her everything! He bought her a car and she only uses it to visit her equally hopeless mashoga!” She curses loudly, “I have been walking on my feet all my life and fighting for madaladala! And I have never complained! Hell, my husband even brought me two other kids, but I still never complained!”

           “I dressed them, fed them, without asking a question – and I still gave him more kids. Infact I farmed a whole acre of land when I was seven months pregnant! So what makes her so special suddenly? Kidomo juu juu tu!”

Her dried up, cracked feet and equally cracked toes are prove of the marathon walks. Her old loose and shapeless dresses also show submission and having given up. I promise you even a scarecrow looks better in its drabs – oops, asinisikie. Lakini seriously, wee acha tu! and you wonder why she liked Lulu. Anyway, tuendelee

         “If I had known that she was so spoilt and so soft I wouldn’t have let me son marry her! Kivivu!! She is even too lazy to get pregnant and give my son another child. He should have married Lulu. Lulu would have given him ten kids already! Good old Lulu who worked like a mule.” She goes on, “no wonder he is never at home! I would too! Tena she is lucky he goes back to their bed – she should thank her lucky stars, stupid child!”

          “And how can she dress like that? Walking around uchi kabisa! You can practically see her nipples and crotch! As if she is hunting! He gives her too much freedome. He should get her pregnant! At least she will stay at home. I don’t trust her. She is probably using contraceptives. These kids of today,” she spits on the floor in disgust. “Halafu on Sunday she dares goes to church, sing in the choir and take the communion even! Shameless kimchawi! Na atashindwa kwa jina la Yesu!”

          “Mama shikamoo,” a familiar voice greets me. I know the calves.

          Kitoto hakisemwi hiki. You think about her and instantly she appears. I tell you ni kichawi hiki.

          “Mkwe, I was just thinking about you. You must have a very long life! I have missed you jamani! How are my son and grandson?”

          “I made some snacks for Junior and I thought I should bring you some, Mama, besides I haven’t seen you in a while.”

She watches her she sits, she watches her as she eats, she watches her every move. Yes, that’s baba Junior’s great aunt, whom nobody ever defies. She doesn’t touch the basket filled with samoosas and vitumbua.

          “I tell you, kichawi hiki! She is a witch, I tell you! Why would she make me food? Unless she is trying to tell me that I can’t cook. Halafu ati snacks – if she had wanted to bring me food then she would have cooked proper food. Look at her – too lazy to cook even. She has aborted so much that now she can’t give my sister’s son another child! Look at her acting all sweet and angelic.”

          “Mama, won’t you even taste one? They are quite good – of course not as good as yours.”

          “Hapana mkwe, I just had a big lunch,” she forces a smile – something she is so good at.

          “Should I make you some tea then?”

          “Erm, I shouldn’t bother you, mkwe. Don’t worry about me. Let’s just sit here and talk,” she pats her arm, “so when are you going to give my son another child?”

Tell me, you are familiar with baba Junior’s great aunt! You lie if you say you are not familiar with great aunt – we all have her in our family! Okay, it’s not just a conspiracy, but these people use their kids to make their already miserable lives bearable. Their kids are their puppets – go this way, no that way, no left, no right. Yaani!! I tell you misery likes company!

Suddenly her house turns into a church. Every Friday, great aunt would come with her special prayer group to pray for her sister’s son. Yes, you guessed it – now they are friends now that she has learnt that Maya has been playing the dutiful wife. With these people, there is no pleasing.

Her wardrobe has now been changed to suite the new church – from her knee length linen suits and dresses to preferably ankle length vitenge and her once treated hair is now wrapped behind shawls and vitenge headdresses – great aunt’s church. Her saloon trips shortened and made less, instead she spends her days in prayer groups and her nights in a Bible.

Don’t ask about the money that baba James had been saving up for the States trip – ooh, that had long gone to the construction of their new church. Nobody defies great aunt, remember.

          “That stupid boy! That stupid son of mine! He couldn’t even find himself a wife! I had to go out there and find him one!”

          “Tsk, tsk,” a woman dragging her sandals in cracked up feet shakes her head.

          “Look at how pretty she is! She is so hard working maskini! The other day she brought me the most delicious vitumbua and samoosas!”

“Let us pray for him jamani! Na ashindwe!”

“Amen,” a group of women with cracked soles and drab dresses reply in unison. “Kwa jina la Yesu atashindwa!”

Good God, if there is a mission to fill the world out there, while you send the Holy Spirit to our parents with the message please tell them while at it to go easy on us.


~ by saharasoulfood on January 21, 2008.

3 Responses to “Don’t Defy Great Aunt”

  1. hehehe!! very well written! i can so see this happening! 🙂

  2. Must be part of the african customs and tis true every family has ont of those.

  3. […] So I have rolled up the top ten worst mother in laws into one – so sue me – but kwa kweli don’t tell me you have never come across this devil that wears Prada, erm, khanga.Sasa, if you get to see your mother in law only on Christmas and Baptisms because she lives in the villages, I tell you you fast, thank your God, sijui Allah, your lucky stars, sijui ancestors, cows, dogs, mbuyu or whatever schitt you believe in. Sasa start praying there is no other ndugu from the husband’s side of the family, lurking in the town your husband and you live in. Especially not a great aunt whom nobody ever defies … […]

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