They live in glamour while their parents languish in squalor, writes SOPHIA KHAKASA
Their mothers can’t even afford cheap painkillers to soothe their backaches. Yet they blow Sh10,000 worth of food and drinks on their friends and colleagues in one sitting.
The worst offenders are people in employment, followed by successful businessmen and businesswomen. Some frustrate their parents to the point of driving them to suicide. And they feel nothing about it.
One, a school principal, mistreated her mother so much that the entire community took it upon itself to adopt her. Mary, a school principal, would not even get out of her car to go into her mother’s house despite the fact that her mother had sacrificed all she could, selling oranges and lemons to raise her school fees.
After completing university and landing a lucrative job as a high school teacher at one of the best paying private schools in Nairobi, Mary suddenly found her mother and childhood home revolting.
Whenever she visited her mother upcountry, which wasn’t often, she would park her car at the shopping centre and send a villager to call her mother.
Her mother, who was elderly and had knee problems, would struggle up the hill with a neighbour’s help. Mary would talk to her mother through the car window and give her some shopping before reversing and driving back to Nairobi.
So dire was the neglect that the local church members started taking turns to support her. When she died, mourners were surprised to learn that hers was a large family of eight children who are all well to do. Mary’s husband, for instance, is a medical doctor; her sister is a hospital matron while her brother is a trade unionist.
As friends and relatives stood to give testimonies about the deceased, next-door neighbours, in a bid to shame her children, laid it bare.
“I have forgiven her. I lent her money to buy fish but she has gone to heaven without paying me.”
“I lent her Sh100.”
“I lent her sugar but I have forgiven her for going to be with Jesus before settling my debt!”
It was both cruel and sad.
A broken hearted Mary stood before the mourners to give her farewell speech, tears rolling from her eyes:
“I didn’t know my mother lived such a miserable life. She collapsed and died before getting to hospital because there was no means of transport, yet I have two cars,” she wailed.