Flowerly Maua

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I smile recklessly and I love excessively. I live today knowing I have no other day until tomorrow. Now is my moment. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is a mystery, but today, today is my gift (present).

Friday, 27 January 2012

Learning Kenyan

For the first three years of my mid teenage son's life we communicated in Kikuyu, my mother tongue, and only Kikuyu. A few people were a bit apprehensive, like my brothers, but he is my son. I caused several times when they spoke English to him, or when he responded in English. Being born in UK, and with no immediate plans of relocating to Kenya he was going to learn the queen's language anyway. Kikuyu was going to give him a sense of identity and belonging, not to mention having a medium of a private conversation with him in public, or a language I could threaten him, 'eterera tukinye mucii' (wait we get home).

Two weeks to his third birthday, I had to leave for Kenya to care for my mum, and what I thought was a short stay lasted for nine months. I came back to find a chatterbox and my hard work had gone down the drain. My chatterbox son did not speak a word of Kikuyu, courtesy of my brothers. But he was well taken care of.

Last Christmas, my son and I went to Kenya. It was his first time ever, and he hated 16 of the 20 days we were there (the 4 were spent in Malindi).

To my surprise, he picked so many words, but they are all Kenyan. Uka haha, oriti, wacha ujinga, poa, tugende, ninguukuna, barikiwa, shindwe, wi mwega, habari, misi, I have no idea which language to concentrate on. I only speak Kikuyu and Kiswahili. I hate Sheng.

But I'm glad the interest to learn Kenyan is there. I can also proudly report that my son has come from being a Gikuyu, Kenyan, English, British and back to Kenyan.