When my billionaire mother died, the responsibility of burying her fell on me by default – her love child.
The obsequies were stunning, and also touching. Mama Lucy Kibaki choir graced the occasion with heavenly melodies. As the requiem service ended, we all stood and sang my mother’s favourite – Nilianza Safari by Rose Jeffa. Rose was there herself and she was honoured to perform her song for my mother, she said.
On the material day the whole compound was a bazaar, the gamut ran from stretch limos for waheshimiwas to latest Mercs and Sports Utilities for businessmen and celebs. It was more of a celebration (of a life well lived) than a funeral.
Everyone who’s anybody, or thought is, was there – cabinet ministers and their assistants, the VP and the Premier, famous actors and producers, real estate tycoons and investors, high and low – all to bid thee farewell my mother.
As I watched the casket being lowered to her final resting place, memories of another life, back when she was alive and I was her only source of happiness – as she had told me on her death bed – came hurtling back on me. I couldn’t help but cry quarts.
Nonetheless that was then and this is now. Ghost family members have sprouted from phantom family trees, including a dad who’d been MIA since sowing his wild oats in my mother, have come demanding their share even before the dust has settled off.
I stopped crying the minute the ground swallowed my mother up leaving no trace of her save for her photos that a constant reminder of her. Instead, it turned to be a tussle over what my loving mother bequeathed me, her only relative.
“Girls don’t own property” has been the mantra.
Even business partners, lawyers and confidants – people my mother trusted most in her lifetime – are after a share of what she tirelessly worked for.
It’s bad enough that society has become a bunch of amoral, money-grabbing nincompoops. Worse still, it has turned into gangster wannabes, too.
Vincent de Paul.