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TURPHY’S CORNER: An open letter to a future mother-in-law in an African village

Hallo mother,
You must be wondering why your son did not bring me home to meet you even though we were together for several months.

Ms Turphy Achieng
Ms Turphy Achieng

I know how happy you would be to have me as daughter-in-law. I can imagine us sitting down to discuss the village rumours while waiting for your son to return home after enjoying the local brews somewhere.

I also know how you would boastfully tell members of your women’s association that you have a daughter-in-law who is extremely hilarious and a bit curvy.

You would off course not forget to tell them that I work very far in the country’s capital.

I however have a slight feeling that something is bothering you. It has to do with your son. We have not met and I guess your son has not told you anything about me. But you somehow know I exist.

That’s why each time he comes to the village, you give him many farm products including eggs, chicken, fruits, etc. to carry back to the city. I think at times you force him to carry them because you are convinced he is taking some to your unknown daughter in-law.

Well, mom, let me tell you truth. Your son isn’t convinced I’m good enough to sit and discuss village rumours with you.

He cannot stand the fact that here in the capital women can easily enjoy their numerous tots of whisky and other drinks in the evening after work instead of running home to cook for their potential hubbies.

NailsHe hasn’t understood that in this life we are not competing with partners but supplementing each other. He wants to have a mother in a wife.

Here in the city ladies are not asked by their husbands where they are going at night, so if I come there and you see me shinning at 7 PM don’t dare ask me where I am going.

And we don’t like being lectured on behaviour, so if I do something wrong please look for a very polite and intelligent manner to point it out.

Mom, the other reason why your son is not bringing me there soon is because I can’t milk a cow. In town we milk dispensers and we don’t know how to cut vegetables.

Here we also don’t wash clothes; our five inch nails cannot handle that. We instead use washing machines.

And 1 out of 10 women here in the city doesn’t know how to cook any traditional food which I hear people in the village can’t survive without.

Your son looks at me and concludes that I love pizzas way too much to cook any traditional delicacy (his assumption again).

Then there is the issue of his socks resting everywhere in the house. He finds me arrogant when I order him to pick them.

Lastly in this town we still bend over as we dance. He is therefore afraid that I may bend over for the wedding dance should he decide to marry me.

So, dear future mother-in-law, just be patient and stop praying hard for him to get a wife in this part of the world.

By Turphy Achieng

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