This is the Story of Anna* now a 29 year old. She is a happy and bubbly woman and most people think its because she has no clue what life is about. But Anna has had a humble childhood. She has seen poverty and she knows frustration in its literal sense.. Maybe walking her journey will tell you more. I hope it does….
She was almost never born…Oh yes! She came way too early like she just couldn’t wait to start living already! The choice wasn’t quite hers but her parents. They were distraught, frustrated and confused. But, scared as they were, they decided to keep her. She had an elder sister, Missy who was barely a year old when she was conceived. But it didn’t matter any more. Little Missy had to stop breastfeeding, and learn to be a big girl.
Life was already serving Marlene a hard one. The city life had served her too much culture shock and she was just getting used to speaking the local Swahili language with less accent from down South. News that she was expecting another baby this early would spread faster than bush fire. She was sure she could hack being a mom to yet another child, but not the rumours that would carry with it. She knew she had to do something about it. She had less than three months to decide what.
Meanwhile young Missy adapted to the new changes, oblivious that her young life would change a lot in the next couple of months, maybe less. She wondered why she wouldn’t enjoy her ‘nyonyo’ times anymore, but was content with just sitting on her Mama’s lap and dozing off each night. ‘Porridge with milk isn’t too bad anyway.’ She would comfort herself, ‘especially when it has sugar and margarine in it’ and so life moved on with plans to get away from the city life before Marlene’s pregnancy started to show.
It wasn’t long before Marlene, young Missy and the unborn child were settled in her marital home in the village. Her new neighborhood comprised of scattered huts, lots of digging land, millet and maize farms and lots and lots of in-laws. Had she known life would turn out worse for her, she would have gone back to the city with the first available bus. But then here she was, ready to do this.
She had just finished setting Missy’s clothes on the far end of the wooden plank she had improvised when she heard a knock on the door. “Hmm, it could be anyone!” she almost scoffed when it dawned on her that all her neighbours were her relatives. She battled the painful sting of regret that tempted to show her around and with a smile opened the door, wide. The man standing at the door didn’t replicate her smile though. He carefully scanned Marlene’s tall and slender frame taking in her beauty with envy and spite rather than anything positive, as was his character. Zack was Marlene’s brother in law. “So its true you’re here?” He sneered and almost fell backwards at the weight of his own voice in the air. He was drunk and Marlene was not ready to coax a drunken man on her first day in the village. She needed to make him leave immediately.
….To be continued…