I am a daughter of no one and my siblings sons and daughters of no one
I have no godfather and my mother is a peasant immigrant.
I don’t know who my father is, my mother never mentioned him we didn’t try asking.
She did everything in her power to raise us. She toiled on your Lands(Kenya) and sweated blood to feed us,sometimes it took a whole days job on the fields to get a glass of maize and beans for dinner to be shared by all of us.
Our only hope for ever tasting bread or milk was to work hard in school or so they told us.
“Have good grades, go to the university and you will be somebody someday.”
All I wanted was to taste fresh bread and eat vegetables cooked in oil.
So I worked hard.
So I burned the midnight oil for good grades
So I made the school library my other home
So I borrowed books.
So I read every book in our school library.
“Knowledge is power.”
Knowledge I acquired.
My grades in school were flawless.
My disciplinary record flawless.
I followed the rules or took great care to not get caught when I broke them .
The first time i tasted biscuits, the ones sandwiched With icing sugar, was in an English class when Mrs.Otieno thought my composition was exquisite and i deserved a reward.
I had only read about such biscuits in Novels and tasting them felt like heaven.
I had always admired my English teacher .
If memory serves me right, I used to dream that if I worked hard enough I will would someday; drive a car like hers, master the command of English language like she did and afford mouth watering biscuits like the one she had awarded me. She even told me that the secret was in working hard,Get good grades, go to the university.
I did all that.
I studied hard.
I made it my mantra.
finally I got into the university.
I graduated college.
Here I’m five years later and I think my immigrant mother probably had it better. My papers lie under my bed.
I stopped photocopying my CV because there was no point.
Kiptoo asked me to sleep with him so he could consider giving me an interview.
Wafula wants me to be his third wife for a job offer.
Liteitei asked me to scratch his back, he didn’t even bother explaining.
My story is long and boring,nothing worth writing home about.
Someday may be I should head middle East and probably Slave for a few dollars but that Also got some scratching and backs for it to be a reality.
It’s like i never learn when they sell me fantasies.
I stopped telling my mom the reality am living in.
That am broke.
That I do odd jobs that pay piss to get by.
That I live with three other girls, struggling to pay rent.
That I live on a single meager meal a day.
So I send her cash often so she would think am okay.
Some nights while I lie awake, I fantasize on taking Wafula on the offer.
Then when Sunrise comes up I remember why I have to fight another day.
I think of pink lotus and how it blooms after a long period of mud and darkness and I fight to survive another day.
Hope is a dirty word than Fuck but hope has been my only faithful friend.
She,Hope, has kept me going,afterall the alternative is hopelessness
I would rather hope even if it kills me sometime.
I have heard of success stories, I tattooed a Phoenix on my belly and a lotus on my back, on the days I forget I trace my hand on the Phoenix, to remember.
Someday I will rise from the ashes but today I have to get by in the ruins my life. Abandoned ghost towns have a better chance of being Rich and famous than my life but that doesn’t mean I will stop trying.
I think of Dubai, a desert that became a dream and I fight on.
The promise of Canaan is no longer lies in good grades, not in my reality, Kenya . Maybe the promise of Canaan is in playing dirty but I was raised Christian and No matter how I try I can’t seem to bring myself to deal drugs, teachings from a tender age,keeps weighing on my conscience.
Maybe someday things will change. Maybe I will find a godfather or my father will come save me.
Maybe love will save me.
Maybe things will change.
Maybe they won’t.
I fight to see another day.
I look at how hopeful sunrises are and I carry on.
The glory of sundown reminds me that just because the sun is setting in my life That doesn’t mean it’s not beautiful and glorious, it makes a good story after all. i talk to the moon a lot. Her cycle reminds me that I don’t have to be bright or show up to called a moon. I’m still Riri even when I don’t show up.
I carry on.
I take it a day at a time.
Just another day, in a daughter of no one, In Kenya.
She keeps on.