Mombasa Raha, My Foot (Chapter Twenty Six Excerpt)

I am tired of it all.

I am tired of sleepless nights

Worrying about my baby's health

Where she could be now

What deed is being done on her now......

I am at fault

I accept

I told her to go right ahead

I wanted our house to be as majestic

And I believed when I was told

That nothing gets a family out of poverty faster

Than a daughter with a white boyfriend.

Now my daughter

My flesh and blood

Is the star in hideous acts

Is the participant in horrendous fetishes

All so she can bring home something

My daughter,

I am too proud to say sorry

Because my upbringing taught me

That the parent is always right

And you, the child, are always wrong

I can never apologise

Because I don't have the strength to

I was never taught how to

How important to

I can only hang my head in shame

Knowing all the things you do

To bring home something

Is all thanks to my guidance

I am to blame

For the horrors you've participated in

You are free to turn your back on me

Because I provoked you into this

You are free to no longer respect me

How can you,

After all you've done

To get me out of poverty?

How can you,

When all I've done

Is think about my happiness,

Is talk about me,

Is put myself first,

Yet you're my responsibility?

Usinisamehe, mtoto wangu

Don't forgive me,

Don't show remorse,

Walk away and turn your back,

I deserve no forgiveness

I deserve to die alone

I deserve to be disowned

Paying for the sin of not taking the responsibility

That is you, my baby.



South Coast.

Khadijah's mother stepped outside, tears freely flowing down her cheeks.

Her husband was lying on the veranda, still clutching an alcohol bottle. His pocket was sticking out, revealing a tiny fragment of a fifty dollar bill.

She looked at him, then took a few steps to a nearby tree.

She looked up at it, having very robust branches, and threw a rope around one branch, tying it firmly.

With surprising agility she managed to climb up one branch, then stood up, her weight being supported by the robust tree branch.

She hesitated, looking behind at the small homestead, then, still crying, slipped the rope around her neck.

Don't forgive me, my child.

Then she jumped from the tree branch.

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