A Heartfelt Epistle to My Mother



It is unfortunate and awfully saddening that you won’t be able to read this letter but I promise to translate it for you.

Hoyo, I can’t remember but I can picture and ponder upon all what you went through in that scorching sun and unforgiving heat of Northern Kenya as an expectant mother. Hoyo, I have no idea but I can figure out the pains and difficulties you braved during the nine month gestation period as a fetus in your womb despite the deprivation of clinical attention which I understand was a rare privilege by then. Hoyo, I can’t imagine the intensity of the labour pain you went through and may be all what appertains child delivery but I can confirm without any doubts that it is really a nauseating experience that often proves to be a grotesque nightmare for any expectant mother. I know the pain, the bleeding and the sacrifice you made to breathe me into this world is too strange and wild for me to fathom but all I can say and affirm is that the experience was a tall order that even fathers can attest to. But mum, as they say no pain without gain.

After enduring all the unimaginable proportions of excruciating pains and massive blood lose came this bouncy baby boy. I don’t know how it went but one thing I know for a fact is that everybody went berserk with jubilation. Deafening ululations rocked the air after discovering that I am a baby boy after long series of giving birth to baby girls. Hoyo, I know it was decades ago, but I remember quite vividly all what transpired that day courtesy of the many people who witnessed it and who quite nostalgically and passionately narrated it to me. Hoyo, I know my birth day was both quite symbolically and perceptibly different from all the rest. The question of why it was different is off the topic for now but what I can confirm is that the news of my birth was received with wild acclaim by all and sundry.

Hoyo, amazingly even after all these horrifying experience, you never ceased to continue with your motherly sacrifice. Your love, attention and care were always unparalleled. I can hardly remember anything but I know for a fact that you did the best for me. Despite living in harsh climatic conditions known for its unforgiving nature at the time when the region was viewed from a shifta lens by the ruling class, you managed to bring me up in the most decent manner. You endured all my childhood tantrums and you responded it with a motherly smile.

You tickled me just to afford a smile on my face whenever I got bored. You always carried me with you either between your laps or at your back. Your never felt comfortable nor secured whenever you saw me held by someone else. You never trusted anybody to hold me just because of the amazing love you had for me. The sweet lullabies done in your uniquely melodious voice that could even fell a rattled snake into a deep slumber will forever be etched in my mind as long as the diamond remains priceless and oceans wet.

Hoyo, even that was not enough. You taught me how to walk. I crawled, walked and finally ran all under your careful supervision until I became a pro. You taught me a language in order to communicate, a privilege many are deprived of. You taught me my mother tongue that I have today included in my Curriculum Vitae which I don’t think would have been possible without you. And above all, Mum, you acquainted me with our Somali culture in order for me to remain deeply rooted with my people and my identity which I today celebrate.

Hoyo, your beautifully and wittingly composed folktales that always flummoxed and inspired in equal measure, enriched me with rare wisdom and lessons that were pretty much necessary and essential in my early stage in life. You did teach me a lot Hoyo. I can’t and it is really impossible to coalesce all of them in this single letter.

Mum, against this humble background, you took a bold step in educating me, together with my Father. And I must credit him too for this. You toed a path less travelled. You took me to both religious and secular schools.

In Duksi (religious school) I was taught my religion, its teachings as indicated in the holy Quran and how to read and write in Arabic which actually formed the basis of my spiritual advancement and nourishment, An aspect that formed the most important element in my life. In secular school, I was taught everything ranging from Math, Science, Geography and Languages, components that were very important in my day to day life. Mum, you taught me everything positive and I can’t mention all of them as I said earlier. But above all, You made sure that I graduated in those important institutions without much hustle despite your limited financial wherewithal. Hoyo, I MUST commend you for that.

Anyone would attest that a product of such rigorous upbringing would be obviously, without a scintilla of doubt, be a paragon of virtue. An epitome of moral perfection, to be precise. That is what my Hoyo moulded me to be. Mum, I am on my knees on this auspicious MOTHER”S DAY just to say thank you for that rare and amazing kind of parental upbringing. Hoyo, I can’t picture how my life would have looked like without you but am pretty sure that it would have been any empty and miserable one full of sad and forlorn.

Mum, Here I am now, Young, ambitious man. Walking on the precincts of the top most pinnacle of educational institution, a place i always wished to be. You overplayed your role as a mother. That is all I can say.

Now the ball is on my court to reciprocate the same to you, I know I can’t match yours neither can I dare but I would try to my level best. Off course, Not without your constant prayers. Mum you made me what I am today. I don’t have words to describe or to appreciate you.

Hoyo, as you age gracefully, remember you have children to bank on and particularly, an astute son to count on, courtesy of your marvelous parenting. Hoyo, I love you and I always remember you and my equally beloved Abo in my prayers. You sharpened me, and for that matter, I promise to be at your beck and call. I promise to do everything you want. I promise to dedicate my life to you the way you dedicated yours to me. Hoyo, remember my birthday was especially different and I promise so shall be your life once I graduate with the consent of the Almighty. I promise to die for you, I promise to stand by you, I promise to keep you in touch, I promise to remember you in my supplications, I promise to be always grateful to you for the discipline you inculcated in me, I promise to do everything you envisaged as you brought me up in this rather extraordinary way.

Hoyo I know the accomplishment of the above pledges is not a walk in the park but an herculean task. However, the resilience, patience and stoic you exuded as you brought me up will always be my nuggets as I try to achieve those goals. Mum, I conclude this passionate letter by wishing you and all other mothers out there who also did the same, all the best in this AUSPICIOUS MOTHER”S DAY.

I celebrate you and am slavishly on my knees today just to say THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN. I know that is understatement but that is all I can afford for now. May Allah grant you and all other mothers Janatul firdaus .

Your lovely son,




Mohamed is a writer and blogger. Like him on Facebook









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NepJournal is Northern Kenya's online newspaper. It is also a space where the leading thinkers and writers from the region bring you unsolicited and uncensored views, analysis and opinion from the region and beyond.

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