The Peaceful Kibeti (Gracie)

It is her role to make the man happy. It is her duty to establish joy in the house. It is her fate, her destiny to bring peace. The question is; what about her?

The night was cold and windy, a bit unusual in the semi-arid region of Kamba land. She hurriedly collected the remaining bits of firewood from the compound, just in case, by Mulungu’s miracle, it rained. The children’s muffled noises electrified the dimly lit hut, and the eventual smiles and laughter vibrated on the mud-formed walls. She gently opened the half-empty Mbisu (cooking pot), contemplating how the meal will satisfy her husband and her three girls that day. Like mind-witchcraft, at the thought of her husband, the door to the small-isukuu (hut) banged open. Her heart sank down, her soul cringed away, her blood froze within their tracks, but she was prepared.

Toughened by years of experience, she tightened her lesso, braced herself, and carried on with her work. After serving little bits and pieces to the family, sending the children to bed, she dutifully sat at her husband’s feet to groom his otherwise dirty feet. The reasons were stale; the food was little and the man was hungry and angry. The first blow, while still, a young bride was painful, but now, she held the seams of her skirt, bit down her lower teeth, and waited for it to end. Afterward, she lay down beside her husband, looked towards the direction of her children, closed her eyes, and silently planned her following day. The children will eat manga (arrow roots) for breakfast, go to school with clean clothes, and she would work more to prepare good food for her husband.

It is her role to make the man happy. It is her duty to establish joy in the house. It is her fate, her destiny to bring peace. The answer is; she is instrumental.

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