Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers of Uweza

Story by: Rebecca Musanga
Photos by: Everlyne Nzilani

Many women in the world celebrated Mothers Day in a style today. For some, this created ample time to reflect back on their parenting skills while others spent most of their time with their families as they shared memorable moments together. Some organized parties to their mothers as they presented them with gifts.

As the Uweza family, we also wanted to find out from some of our mothers what the day means for them and possible challenges they face as women in the society.  My camera person Everlyne Nzilani and I got ready at the center where we did the interviews one on one. My role was the interviewer while Everlyne was to take photos to be shared to the world.

Perhaps a sneak preview of the interview was getting to know what Mothers Day meant to these women and what impact a woman has in the community. These were some of their views about this day: many were aware of this day’s celebrations but most said that it had no difference with the rest of the other days since they had nothing to celebrate, saying that the economy was in bad shape hence limiting their joy but most suggested that it was a good day to spend some time to be with their families and friends.

Evelyne Adhiambo, a parent says that she plays a bigger role to mold her family by taking care of the house chores.  “I make sure the children go to school on time, wash their clothes, and cook food so  that everyone has an ample life,” says Adhiambo.

For Hellen Awour, her sentiments were that Mothers Day is just like any other day. However, she shared some of the challenges she faces as a woman. “We are at risks of death during delivery since some of us don’t have enough money to get proper medical care and we are forced to visit traditional birth attendants (TBA).  To me, this is a bigger challenge. As we celebrate Mothers Day, I urge mothers out there to be close friends with their children and instill good values in them for a better tomorrow."

Rebecca Musgana talking to Hellen Awuor
"Despite facing some of the day to day challenges, women should never give up easily.  You find that we do sacrifice a lot for our families for a better future,” notes  Irene Atieno Amollo.

“I am a single mother and take care of my own children, grandchildren, neighbor's children and also at times children of my friends. For me, this is a day to reflect on what role you can play as a mother by not just loving your own children but extending the love and care to others. We need to advise kids all the time so they can be better role models,” were sentiments aired by Hadija Khamisi famously known as Nyanya (Grandma) Omosh.

Thomas Bwire with Nyanya Omosh
As for Harriet Akinyi, all that matters to her is to show love right from our households as that’s where we spend so much of our time.  She told me that this will reflect on your family by the end of the day to have better values in life.

Thomas Bwire interviewing Harriet Akinyi
Lillian Awinja says that mothers should be responsible while at home and that without a mother things cannot go right.”My message is that we need to work hard, take care of the community and the world around us as a whole.”

Lillian Awinja with her sons
At the close of my interviews, I learned that women do experience challenges like unemployment, being overburdened at home, and discrimination from the society.  Others manage as single mothers or widows and some face rape cases amongst many other challenges. Despite all these challenges faced, they all had one common message to the rest of the world: that all women should be responsible in their families, hardworking, never give up, create time to be free with their children and above all to put God first in all their work. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL WOMEN IN THE WORLD.        

Rebecca Musanga and Everlyne Nzilani are members of the Uweza Journalism Club.

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