Celebrating East African Writing!

What I want you to know… by Wairimu Mukuria

My dear daughter,

As I write this, my heart is bleeding blood and tears. Yet I have a calm inside of me because I now know what I must do. I am writing you this letter because I need you to know that you are loved. 

I know that you are too young to understand what I want you to know today but a day is coming when you will ask these questions; out loud and in your heart. 

Let me begin by saying you were conceived in love. Your father and I talked about having you and we would often joke that you will look like your father.Talking about you even before conception brought great joy to us. You must own this fact as you should in all I am going to say to you. I never want you to ever let the thought of being a problem child to ever cross your mind, wound your soul and rob you of innocence.You are very separate from me and him.You have your life to live.We have lived ours by the choices we made.

Your father is not with you not because he did not want you but because he is a broken man. That does not mean that if I found this out earlier, I would have not have had you. No! I came to realize the nature of your father when you were in my womb. I thought I could weather it, if only for your sake. But it became clear that especially for your sake, I had to be as far away from him as possible. 

You will have a fleeting thought that he was the way he was to me and by extension, you, because I brought that out in him. I thought the same too. My child, let it be just that, a thought that will go up like mist during sunrise. It took me precious time to unveil this skewed thought. 

I need not wonder how my life would have turned out, or the kind of woman you would have grown up to be, I just know it would have been unfortunate. There were many incidents and I shall tell you some of them, if only to help you understand. 

It was the time I had a car accident and he accused me of being careless and never bothered to followup on your status. It is when I was unwell in the house and needed medical attention. I called him, he never responded. I justified this treatment with the fact that he did not fully appreciate pregnancy. He’s a guy, right? It was when I went to hospital for your birth; he said he would be back in 15 min, he never returned. It was the following morning when I called him with information that I had to go for a cesarean section, he said he was on his way, he never came. It was during that time that he saw you for two minutes, three days after your birth and scolded me for not taking care of you since like any newborn child you were crying. It was when it was time for me to go home and I took you with me to my house. I thought that was not too bad. Now that you were here, flesh and blood, surely he would actively take part in your growth.

He failed to remit your child support money. It was after I begged that he would deposit this money in my account. It would be in bits and pieces. It would be at the middle of the month. Sometimes, there would be nothing. Still, I kept the faith. Still I hoped he would come round. 

In my anguish I once felt compelled and dropped you off in the middle of the night at his house. He brought you to me a few hours later and I refused to take you back. I thought, “You do it, I want my life back!” 

The following day, he brought you back and I have never been happier to see you. You are my life. He was to one day accuse me of conceiving you with a man who was a mutual friend that we both loved and respected. He would go further and ask for a DNA test. That, I thought was the last straw. I had seen nothing yet. I came to learn that your father married two weeks ago. 

As I write this to you, I do not know the future. I am certain however that it is one without him.

Your ever loving mother.

Wairimu Muria Blogs at


10 comments on “What I want you to know… by Wairimu Mukuria

  1. Clifford Oluoch
    March 19, 2009

    Hmmm, another male bashing story. Contentwise – great story and portrayal of emotions. Theme – well trodden track of male bashing. Seems to sell, so why not work on it.
    Let me work on a rejoinder to that one. I am serious, men need to rise up and fight for their battered reputation.
    Marto – where are you?


  2. peris machogu
    March 19, 2009

    It is a really moving story keep it up


  3. Faith Oneya
    March 20, 2009

    For five minutes, I became the mother, I felt her pain.
    I love the precision with which the emotions have been described.Spot on.


  4. Alexander
    March 20, 2009

    Cliff, I try tro see male-bashing as the understandable subversion of the (no longer voiceless) subaltern against a still existing – though much-challenged and often frayed – system of patriarchal dominance and systemic oppression.

    Faith, you were laudably reticent in not hawking your own wares of the past (no fears though, the Storymoja kanjos are easily bribable with chocolate ;-P), but myself I need not take such precaution – so allow me to direct every reader to a brilliant and dark previous short story of Faith in KenyaImagine:

    So precisely written, and hits you square.

    Thanks, Alexander


  5. Christine
    March 20, 2009

    I didn’t see this story as ‘male bashing’ but rather as a personal tale of a relationship gone wrong.


  6. Clifford Oluoch
    March 20, 2009

    Alexander, I do agree with you but somehow the plot has to be very original not to pass as typical feminism and overt male bashing tendencies. It is like sexual violence, child abuse – all these are things that exist in the society. It is up to the author to package the story in a way that will attract readers. I am yet to see that.



  7. Peterson
    March 26, 2009

    there are nice fathers too i must say starting with mine.


  8. Wairimu Mukuria
    May 5, 2009

    I feel very encouraged.This is the first I am having a piece of my work being commented on.Asante sana and look out for more from this woman who walks with the wolves.
    P.S. Male bashing is overwhelmingly time consuming and reliably unproductive.It is thus not a wise way to spend an iota of time and energy. Afterall, these are archetypes that are cast in stone.The challange is for the male readers to also look beyond feeling defensive and reflect on whether is possible to accept a story as just that!


  9. mukuria muchiri
    September 30, 2009

    your story makes me wish i would meet you and your daughter,baring in mind that we share a are a mother and if not,will make the best.


  10. michael macharia
    November 30, 2013

    Well , thought-provoking and conscience -raking .The special place of the daughter to mother comes through.


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