Friday, 30 June 2017



My memories of my mother are becoming more blurry as I grow older. But I remember certain events that touched my life so much that I still feel the reverberation even as I get older.

There was this time, I was 7 I think, I was a truant in school. I would always leave the class at free periods, wandering around the town with my friends. I was reported To her by the teacher on one occasion. My mother was the typical African mother. Her hand worked faster than her mouth and she was quite dramatic, lol. I remembered she beated me silly, but then it didn't change me. I would still sneak out of class hoping I didn't get caught. I would eventually get caught. I get reported to my mother and get beaten up by her repeatedly. So, one day she considered a different approach.

My mother was a very emotional woman. I remember seeing her cry often, sometimes when she scolded me and I cried she cried along. Especially at the point when I became her only surviving child.

So on this day I had repeated my usual offence and I was reported to her again. She took me home. On the way home I had already consoled myself to be mentally steady for the combos of slaps and wires that were going to rain on my skin. We got home and she took me inside her room; locked the door and pulled a wire. Tears already welled in her eyes and her voice was shaking when she spoke to me. She said to me:

"Victor, I'm tired of beating you. You are probably never going to change by being beaten. I don't know if I had made a mistake by the way I raised you. Maybe I have, maybe it's my fault. Take this wire, and flog me, if that is what it will take for you to change."

By the time she finished saying this, strings of tears already glided freely down her face. Then, then, mummy put the wire in my hands and pulled her blouse. Only her bra was left. "Victor, flog me, please."

That day, standing in the room alone with my mother, holding that wire and watching my mother offer her bare skin as a penance for my correction, I died multiple deaths inside of me. Guilt, shame, self resentment and pity plagued my soul. I started crying; wailing in fact. I dumped myself on the ground and cried. It was a scene to remember; mother and child, alone in the room washing the iniquities of the child with tears, that hurt more than the strokes of whips. I think I cried that day more than I did when she eventually became a butterfly.

That day, till the day she was buried, I never gave her any cause to hit me again. That day, without hitting me, I changed.

I will always love you, wherever you are.

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