EPISODE SIX: #Helpless
I bet the inscription that was on the chain; MUM LOVES YOU,” rings a bell to you. But just in case it doesn’t, let me shed light on this matter. So when Lydiah was grooming her child so she would abandon her, she gave her a chain that had the very same inscription. Well, that is clear now; so the questions would be; how did this mad woman get hold of Lydia’s baby? Was she the one who took the child from Lydiah? Or who handed the child to her? In short, the one question would be; what had really happened? This reminds me of a statement my very good bestie usually tells me, “ Sometimes, Anne, there is no need trying to disturb your head understanding stuff that happens in your life, instead, just flow with the way things go on in your life – God is in control.” So then, as a good student of my Bestie let me borrow heavily from this statement and say this, “Dear reader, go with the flow, sometimes you do not have to understand all the questions (about Lydia’s child), go with the flow, the author is in control.”
You see, in every neighborhood there is usually this person who whenever he or she buys a new car, house or gets a child, everyone is aware; mostly in cases of very influential persons, well known as “celebs”; so “mwenda” was a celeb in her own fashion; the street merchants, the touts, and even the shop owners knew her well and so when she started walking around with this baby it became news.
What mesmerized the people was how she was able to care for this young one and also that she never unleashed the ugly insane side of her to the child. How she bonded with this young toddler was something they all could not comprehend, I honestly also do not comprehend this at all. Efforts by “caring” on lookers had been made to snatch away the child from her but their efforts were all in vain. When this supposed caring on lookers finally accepted the inseparability of “mwenda” and her child, it now became a normal thing because after all, the “mwenda” took care of the child.
Times were hard. Obviously, the child was experiencing the motherly love but that love could not put food on the table. She ate from the dustbins, from the left overs of hotels and houses. But the child was growing up to be healthy, she had adapted to her staple food, the left overs. Her appearance had changed, though, she was darker and dirty, she was the epitome of a mad woman’s child. The clothes she wore were really scanty; calling them characterised would actually be an overstatement. “Mwenda” did her best though, you know best, is a relative; varies from one person to another.
“Mama” was the word that “Mwenda” usually called the child. This name stuck in the lips of the street children.
In every family there is a tradition that is usually followed; for some Sundays are reserved for family time others it is meal times whereby they eat together during meals. So even “mwenda” and her child “mama” also had a tradition and the tradition was that every market day she would go around the market carrying “mama” on her back to beg for food; this she did by going around shouting “mama”. She usually got food though not as much.
So on this particular market day, “mwenda” carried “mama” as was the custom. She made her way to the market and started begging for food. When she got the little food that she managed to gather then went ahead and sat on the floor, removed “mama” from her back and started feeding her. Suddenly there was a sharp cry in the market followed by the shout of “Fire! Fire!”. “Mwenda” as was the custom whenever the sane people started running away, she fled away. However, she started running in the opposite direction where the fire was coming from.
The chaotic state of the market was characterized by people screaming, children crying and people rubbing off shoulders. As “mwenda” ran off, towards the fire, she rubbed shoulders with one of the people running away and dropped “mama”. This made her get all confused and her insane mind directed her to the person she rubbed shoulders with as the thief of “mama”. So she ran after that man shouting “Mama! Mama!”
“Mama” was however left on the ground lying silently, she was a child and she was not in a very good position to comprehend what had transpired. The fire was coming towards the direction of “mama” and “mwenda” on the other side was running after the man.
“Mama” lay there helpless. The fire approached with a lot of momentum and the very person who was to protect “mama” was unfortunately not sane enough to tell where “mama” was. “Mama’s” death was just a second away.
AUTHOR: ANNE MUMBI NJOROGE
FB: Anne Mumbie Mumbay