A Kenyan father’s nightmare in America: Sheriff calls . . they have his son
How women deal with children in the grocery store or supermarket is still a mystery. The black American women are known to be the toughest disciplinarians on earth.
The grocery stores have perfected the art of temptation and keep the most wonderful things in the eyes of a child at arms length. I was in the grocery store and saw this American sister with her 4 kids struggling to pay for the groceries while at the same time pulling and hashing the kids as they constantly reached out to grab the candy put at eyes height by the grocery store “Psychologists”!
When you go to Uchumi or Nakumart in Kenya, it is very rare to see a mother struggling with kids. They are usually in the car, which is legal, or at home with the maid, which is cheap! The rarest sight is that of a Kenyan man with children. If the children are around, usually the wife is around or the maid! Kings!
But the United States is not easy. I know several men who have decided to let their wives work while they choose to take care of their children. In fact I know several men who have arranged their work around the home base so that their children don’t have to go to some home some where at a cost of $100 a week or more. In many of these situations, the kids are very nice and disciplined. However, not all situations result in good. The other day, a friend of mine called me to narrate a nightmare experience. It was 3 am in the morning. He and his wife were dead asleep looking forward to a busy day in the office. The phone rung. The guy is more of a Christian than I am. I turn my phone to silent at 11pm. Even the Lord made the night for sleep; I spent too many nights awake studying Greek and Hebrew for my graduate work while doing security work in Chicago. At 7 am I went to class, then afternoon nap, another class, then a nap, then work! I believe that was enough.
The voice on the other side of the phone was not friendly. Usually those late night calls are from Kenyans in Khumusalaba calling about their relative who got kicked out of school and they need shule stuff! “Is this James Oceng?” The voice inquired. “Yeees, it is O’chieng. . . nini, nani?” The man asked thinking it was his uncle in Jamhuri. “What . . . mini? no this is the sheriff department”. The man woke up and went to the living room. He did not want the wife to hear these news . . . a manly thing to do I would say. “Do you have a son by the name Nathan . . ah I can’t pronounce his last name. . . . Oeng.” The sheriff added. “Yes my son . . . yes.” My friend answered. “Sir we have him for drug possession with an intention of distribution. This is a courtesy call since your son is over 18. Here he is.” The man was still half asleep and thought it was a nightmare. Indeed it was an actual nightmare. “Whats up? . . . what are you doing in a police cell? . . . what is going on?” The father asked. “Dad . . . me and my buddies were just cruising around when this cop stopped us. I think its racial man! We were doing nothing wrong”. The son explained.
The next day, the father bought a round trip ticket for $700. On arrival to the State where his son was supposed to be going to college, he hired an attorney. “Teddy, I paid this guy 10,000 dollars! Can you believe these children. . . and my son thought it was his right! What is wrong with these kids man . . . Teddy, What the . . . is wrong with these kids?” He was mad! I just listened. He told me because his son had no priors and the drugs belonged to his buddies, he was given probation. My father would have told the police to keep me there for a week! Then he would come, and he and the police would first give me several strokes in the matako. Not a Joke! The guy came to my high school when the headmaster called him because of my mischief! Mischief? I just poured water on the Joka’s bed! What is wrong with that? He sat in the office while the headmaster gave me four hot ones. In fact my father counted them! Man! These pastors and their “Trinitarian” discipline!
That is why I was so glad when 10 young college students came one night at the Christ Covenant Church in Missouri to listen to my talk on being conservative until the end. These kids sat there for an hour and engaged me in intricate philosophical concepts. It made me rejoice that Pastor Paul Macharia and the parents of Christ Covenant Church, St. Louis, Missouri have this beautiful facility with basketball, volley ball, youth halls, and a great kitchen. They are not just sacrificing to pay the church mortgage to be seen to be wealthy, but they are investing in their kids. And from my experience there, it is worth every penny. They have possessed that piece of land in Christ’s name, and are claiming their children for the Kingdom.
Teddy Njoroge Kamau, PhD, Director: International Desk/SYR/Radio/TV. Diaspora Messenger Contributor