It was mama that this lady was holding in her hands. Gently rocking her, she couldn’t help but imagine that she was her mother. The nurse who was standing by, watching the lady’s face lighten up each time the baby smiled, wondered what had gotten into her. She opened her mouth to speak but stopped herself before saying what she believed would have ruined this confusing yet lovely moment between the lady and the baby. The lady’s phone rang and as loud as it was, it didn’t seem like she was hearing it ring, so the nurse stepped forward and gently shook her. She quickly answered it. It was her husband.
“I need to be on my way but I will be back for her!” she said after hanging up, handed the baby over to the nurse and left. Her perfume lingered behind long after she had gone and the nurse hung her head deep in thought, trying to figure what it was about this woman that made her look capable of bringing the world to its knees just by a snap of her fingers.
A day later, the lady graced the hospital with two adoption officers and her husband. The adoption officers spent nearly the whole day deliberating with the hospital for custody and finally, after what seemed like forever, the lady was granted custody on the condition that whenever the biological parents of “mama” showed up, she would hand over the child. If only they knew that “mama” was fatherless and that her mother had lost hope of ever finding her.
The couple lived in a two storey’s mansion complete with a swimming pool, small ball-like street lights, a gym. Cabro blocks filled the compound. The room which was henceforth going to be Mama’s was heavenly. The walls were painted pink, toys littered everywhere and the closet was packed to the brim.
Here, Mama’s life took a different turn. She was now a child of the rich and not of a poor, barbaric family or an insane street woman. Here, she would grow up to have nannies at her beck and call and chauffeurs to drive her around. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years and “mama” was now ready to go to school. She had grown into a pretty, refined lady. She had been renamed Leleti. The truth of her past was only known to her foster parents. On her first day of school, she wore her uniform with pride and took a full course breakfast. Naturally, she was excited at first, but on arrival to school, she started crying, begging to go back home with her mother. She was left in the care of her teachers.
The day went on well and Leleti got used to the school system. She, in fact, grew very much in love with the school. She was exceptional in her studies; got everything right in her school assignments and even in her exams. Her name was always called out during every prize giving. Other than the fact that she was a very smart student, she was also very creative. In class three, though she didn’t know yet, she could write poems which performed excellently during school functions. In short, Leleti was blessed.
But just like everyone else, no matter how blessed they are, Leleti had flaws of her own. She was so cheeky and mischievous. At class three, she could pull out pranks at her teachers. At one time, she placed a rodent in the teacher’s glass of water. Another time she screamed just to distract an assembly. She got into troubles all the time but because she was a bright girl, getting out of these troubles wasn’t as difficult as it was for other pupils who had nothing between their ears. Other than pulling stunts, she knew all that was going on. Including those incidents that happened when she wasn’t around. It was like she was omnipresent. A class three child full of “udaku.”
“Unajua gari ya Teacher Abunwasi si yake? Ni ya bibi yake.” you could hear her say. Coming from a class three child, it was shocking. The children surrounded her as she filled them in with the latest gossip. She was, as a result, very much popular.
One time, the class was in chaos as the students burst into laughter on hearing the gossip of Leleti. As soon as the teacher entered the classroom, they all fell back into their positions.
“Who was it that caused all this commotion?” The teacher asked.
“KAMCHECHE!” the students said in low tones.
“Who is Kamcheche?” the teacher asked.
All students turned and looked at Leleti. She had been nicknamed that for her cheeky nature and gossiping affinity. Kamcheche she was. This named derived from a native word “Muchene” meaning gossip.
The name stuck. Even teachers referred her as Kamcheche. Kamcheche was a drama queen and her life was more than enough to feed a dramatic reality show with seasons worth of content. So dear reader, how about we now delve and experience Kamcheche’s new life and how does it end up to be? Stay tuned.
Author: Anne Mumbie