By David Odongo
A tiny village in Siaya County with serene environment lies a home well known for its quality of liquor. Several villagers and friends as well come to this home to quench their thirst. All this courtesy of a widow, long left in custody of eight children majority of whom have grown up today.
When the husband died sometimes in the nineties, mama Lyn as she’s often referred to, tried all manner of business ideas until she landed the lucrative liquor investment.
Immediately the husband passed on, she tried working for other women in their gardens, plied her trade in the village market centre as a mama mboga but all failed. That could not match the expectations of eight needy children. Well aware of their appetite for education, food and clothing she resorted to chang’aa business. She instantly earned the respect of her customers in the tiny village. Her consistency was unquestionable, product quality prudent and service way above the others formerly in the trade.
In her credit, her young boys and girls schooled up, they all completed their secondary while others ending up to college. She then went on to build herself a home and managed some cash for his eldest son’s house too.
However, many people thought that despite her personal commitment and subsequent success, she was engaging in an illegal and tearing the village’s moral fabric. There were claims of service beyond the liquor for certain men. Pensioners and some well employed individuals especially teachers trusted her to the extent of carrying her to the bank at every end month to service their month’s pay. At those initial stages, local liquor was not legal and the chief was also laced in the illegality. He was accused of taking bribes and protecting the poor woman.
One harsh claim that hit many was her ladies’ engagement with clients. With some claiming that affairs in the home did not have boundaries. Some engaged her as well as the daughters.
All these accusations did not go down well with her eldest son, after school, the poor boy devoted himself to religion. He joined Legio Maria, a faith well known for its straight stance against things considered evil. He rose to the ranks of a preacher and ones he got there; he thought to clean his path from home.
He called his mum and tried talking her to his church doctrine. He wanted the entire family in the church and if possible, find a legitimate business. He made inroads and influenced other siblings to his belief but her mum couldn’t just stop. He stepped up his fight and held night prayers at their home with the help of other members of his church. All these failed but the poor boy didn’t stop at that.
He finally resorted to violence and this is the time he got the attention of the mother. She tried reasoning with him stating that were it not for what he considers illegal, he wouldn’t be that far. The boy kept the home hurly burly, chasing away prospective clients and breaking glasses to intimidate and possibly keep them away.
When the business started getting down, her mother got literally mad and in one occasion, when he tried chasing the clients away, her mum called him in the house, pulled off all her clothes to the dismay of the onlookers. The boy ran never to return to their home. He went to church, left all behind and kept to his God. To date, with the slight opening of Mutotho hours, the business booms beyond expectations.