Joy Peace
Posted October 10, 2018 from Kenya

"Spence Chepkorir?", That was the second time the teacher had called me, yet i could not stand up. I really wanted to but my legs seemed to be disputing. It was the day when every student was to speak about their fathers and bring them to school the next day. To be sincere I dreaded this day. I kept asking herself why i was born out of wedlock. In my mind i knew very well that children like me were never accepted in the community. Every time anyone asked about him,i would say he was in a business trip or worked in a far away land. This time I swallowed hard and walked to the front. " My father....ummm my someone I have never seen. My mother told me that he left. " Everyone was already murmuring including the teachers. No one wanted to speak to me after that. All my friends moved aside when i passed and even all those who did not know me ept pointing fingers at me.

When I  got home,I looked at my mother and started to cry. All i had tried to put behind me was coming back. From then on everyone was cold towards me and my mom,they would look at us with scornful eyes,spit on the ground and even the pride i had felt once about myself begun to leave. I felt like i did not belong anymore,my world was crushing in on me like it was sucking all the air from my feeble lungs. I wanted to cry but remembered I had had to be strong.

The next meeting was about how the "bring your father to school day" was all about everyone talking and giggling  about how their dads would come to school. All these time I was seated in a quiet corner looking at them and trying to imagine how my life would be less judgemental and how i would be among those students. But all i could do was accept my situation and try to find my true identity. I remembered how once Amalia my classmate had told me.... "Who are you,you are a nobody. You don't even have a name or an identity,so don't you even think that for a second you are going to talk to us about anything." Of course those words cut me deep inside but my  mother had once told me that no one defined me and not even my situation could. 

The night before the great day for the whole school, I sat in my room thinking of how i would walk to the front and talk about my father yet he would not be there. Funny right! I took a deep breath and went to sleep.

"And now the function is open." Everyone was seated next to their dad,and the view was nice all except one,me..... I was seated next to my mother and I  was the only one not smiling. Everyone was given a chance to speak and invite their dads and when My chance came,I walked briskly to the front and stood for five minutes breathing and not speaking. I was really trying to catch her breath.

At last I managed to find my voice, "My name is Spence Chepkorir,I am a class seven student and am here to talk about my father." Everyone started laughing,others were murmuring. Suddenly I just stopped, I could not go on.Then I felt someone behind me and turned to find my mother behind me.She took the microphone from me and started speaking,"A father is someone who will stick around to watch their children grow and to support them through every step.I know most of you will sit there judging my daughter of being illegitimate and calling her all sots of names.What you forgot to do is ask her what she has been going through all her life.You did not stop to think what made her "illegitimate ".Everyone will always blame the woman for everything but no one stops to think of the father who left his responsibilities and ran off without a second glance." By now the whole hall was silent and no one was even moving. 

"No one stops to think about the mother who sits through dark nights to make the child sleep,she stays at night trying to make the child's fever go down,how she runs up and down trying to feed her child, trying to take the child to school. All you think of is the negative part,the identity, the name.What good is a name without a future. I don't Judge anyone according to their parenthood background,all that matters is how they are raised. A woman can provide an identity to their child just like a father." 

Everyone stood up and clapped enthusiastically and everyone wanted to comment on what my mother had just said. At last everyone could see my  smile,she could not bare to hide it anymore.

"A woman is a strong hold of a community. All she needs is someone to recognise her efforts." Now my mom tries all her best to provide for I and my siblings.I live with a purpose knowing that my life is like this because of her.I see her working hard doing small jobs to brighten my future and my siblings. 


This story was submitted in response to The Future of Security is Women .

Comments 9

Log in or register to post comments
Jill Langhus
Oct 12, 2018
Oct 12, 2018

Hi Spence,

Welcome to World Pulse:-) Thanks for sharing your inspiring story. I love how your mom spoke up and that everyone not only listened to her but had to agree with the wise words she spoke of. You have a great friend and role model there.

Looking forward to seeing more stories from you.

Good luck with your story submission.

Ngala Nadege
Dec 14, 2018
Dec 14, 2018

So sad but so so inspiring. What a great mom you have there. Thanks for sharing

Beth Lacey
Dec 14, 2018
Dec 14, 2018

Your mother is an inspirational woman!

Dec 17, 2018
Dec 17, 2018

Thanks for sharing :-)

J Brenda Lanyero
Feb 19, 2019
Feb 19, 2019

Hi Peace,
Your mum is that strong pillar that every society should have. Thank you for sharing this your story of Spence.

Veronica Ngum Ndi
Feb 25, 2019
Feb 25, 2019

Hello Spence
I love this quotation "A woman is a strong hold of a community. All she needs is someone to recognise her efforts." You are so inspirational.Thanks for your story.I love to read more from you.

Mar 13, 2019
Mar 13, 2019

Your mother is a great woman. She's such a huge inspiration to many people.

Nana Amponsah
Apr 28, 2019
Apr 28, 2019

Inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

May 16, 2019
May 16, 2019

waoohh Joy Peace, i cant say to understand how you felt before that day i can only imagine it. i love your mother for her brevity and courage not allowing all she has passed or is still passing through to dampen her spirit or define who she is or what she will be. Give her a very good thank you for me for standing tall even when the chips were down. she earned her respect by doing that. never allow anybody tell you how to feel. stand your ground at all times and the sky will be your stepping stone. thank you for sharing this wonderful story.