By David Odongo
In a tiny village in Siaya County with serene environment lies a home renowned for its quality of local brew.
Several villagers and friends as well come to this home to quench their thirst, courtesy of a widow long left in custody of eight children, majority now grown up.
When her husband died in the 1990s, Mama Lyn, as she’s often referred to, tried all manner of business ideas until she settled on the lucrative chang’aa investment.
Immediately the husband passed on, she tried working for other women on their farms, even sold vegetables. But all failed. Well aware of her children’s appetite for education, food and clothing, she resorted to brewing and chang’aa and instantly earned the respect of her customers in the tiny village. Her consistency was unquestionable, product quality prudent and service way above her peers.
In her credit, her young boys and girls all completed their secondary with a couple proceeding to college. She then went on to build herself a home, and another for her eldest son.
However, many people thought that despite her per sonal commitment and subsequent success, she was engaging in an illegal enterprise that was 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 taking her along when they went to the bank at every end month to service their certain standing orders. Then, local liquor was not legal and the chief naturally was pocketing protection fees.
One harsh claim that hit many was her ladies’ engagement with clients. Some claimed that affairs in the home did not have boundaries and that her daughters were sometimes roped in to make clients ‘happy’.
All these accusations did not go down well with her eldest son. After school, the boy devoted himself to religion, joining Legio Maria, a faith well known for its straight stance against things considered evil. He rose to the rank of preacher, and sought to clean up his past.