If you called your mum today and asked her what she wants for Mother’s Day, what do you think will be the answer? Some Kenyan mothers will wonder why you have become so westernised trying to waste money on gifts instead of saving up to build for them a house! Some will ask for a full Clinique skincare and face products range that you would regret asking! As Business Daily team, we asked a few mothers what gifts would really matter to them, what they would want to be remembered for and how they managed to raise seven to eight children yet modern mothers-of-one whine daily.
Clarah Kanini, 49
(Laughs sarcastically) “Girl, are you sure you can afford to get me what I want? Just kidding … What I would really love would be to spend time with you and your brother but since I’m away, you can get me a gold chain with my name on it since I lost the one I had to Nairobi thugs,” she said.
Teresiah Wanjiru, 70
“My greatest wish is to have a touchscreen phone that I can use to talk with my children,” she said.
As she ages, Teresiah says she would wish to be remembered for serving the sick wholeheartedly during her 30 years service at Nakuru General Hospital where she worked.
On parenting, she says the current generation of parents is facing hard times bringing up disciplined children because of easy access to TVs and the growing awareness of children rights.
“When I was raising my children, TVs were largely a preserve of the rich. These days parents put TVs in their children’s bedrooms. Children learn a lot of things that our children only learnt about in science and CRE lessons,” she says.
Modern parents hardly take a cane to discipline their children, she says, and they have to talk to them so as to discourage bad behaviour.
“In the 70s, ill-mannered children were flogged every evening and it was obvious that as a mother you had to get daily reports on how they behaved during the day. Now it is impossible to punish a child by beating since there are hotlines that the child can use to inform police,” she said.
Anna Anyango Owino, 63
“Why are you asking about it this time? I was waiting for your usual text saying ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ but now that you have asked, buy me a nice hat to match my green dress then keep this trend of asking for what your mum would like for Mother’s Day,” she said laughing.
Desma Aluoch, 50
“A Mother’s Day gift? It depends on how much you are willing to spend. I would love to go on holiday but I won’t have the peace I want since I fear crowds. So for me I would love to get lots and lots of colourful and quality yarn, crochet and my knitting needles to make scarves and beautiful knitted dresses for my collection,” she said.
Julia Lavera Igadwah, 64
“I desire and pray for good health and long life so I can see my children prosper. That would my gift for Mother’s Day. However, while I might not want a holiday treat to some exotic location, I won’t mind some household shopping and kitenge fabric as gifts,” she said.
Being a retired nurse with seven children, it is hard not to ask her how she juggled motherhood, working and being a wife. She says she mostly had to “overwork.”
“It was a lot of sacrifice which sometimes entailed waking up at 4am to cook and clean the house. This was especially the case when house-helps frustrated me. So I had to put my home in order, get the children ready for school and prepare to go to work. Right now my children are grown and out of my house. The last born turns 30 years in June,” she said.
Mary Atieno, 51
“A gift for Mother’s Day? Hmm … kitchenware like a blender. You can even buy a kitenge material. Yeah! sana sana kitchenware, like a set of cups. I think kitchenware is the best. Leave kitenge alone because you can buy a colour that I do not like,” she said.