The rich also cry- The 21st century parent

The rich also cry- The 21st century parent

By Emily Gatwiri

At Minister Lawi’s home, a chopper drops off Lenny her sixteen-year-old son. He is flown to and from Skystar senior school in a private jet daily. His parents opted for day school for their son. On this day his mother, Mrs. Amara Lawi is seated on the garden and is busy typing on her laptop, a glass of red wine on the table.

“What kind of a life is this? Not a minute will go by without a phone call, one cannot enjoy a moment of silence! Huh! Sickening!” she complains at the myriad of calls that she has to receive daily. When she saw the apple of her eye, her son, she deliberately ignored the call.

“Mother!” Lenny is super excited to find his mother home. He seldom does.

“Hello son!” he bends and gives her a peck. “So now that you are home mummy, we have lots of catching up to do. A lengthy mother-son talk!” Lenny was exhilarated. Just like every son, he finds her mother’s presence heavenly- the Oedipus’ theory you know?

“Definitely son but first get inside, freshen up, get changed then eat a snack. From there come and talk to your mother. Mh!?” It was her polite way of wanting to buy some time to wind up on whatever she had been working on earlier. Crafty woman. Apparently not every mother can balance between work and family.

Lenny obliged and went inside. He hums to the soft music playing in the living room. He is in high spirits- nothing feels better than the mere thought of bonding with his precious mother, the most elegant and beautiful woman in the universe. He had a special admiration for her, he adored her.

“Nanny, would you kindly serve me a glass of passion juice at the garden where mummy is?”

“Right away Lenny!”

“Mother here I am.”

“Oh that was fast son. So how was school?” just when Lenny thought he had won her attention she forgot and received an incoming call. It was a lengthy conversation. She was laughing her heart out. The caller must be such an amusing human being. She must have been a lady. There were indicators- the mention of jewelry, cologne, fashion trends, hair styles and even gossip. Lenny was pissed off. Forty-five minutes later her mother is still on call. The same mother who had promised to have the overdue mother son talk.

Lenny got inside his bedroom and decided to watch a movie instead. “Mother finds phone conversations thrilling. I guess I should try them out to. Such a brilliant idea.” He thought to himself. He called his classmates Maxwell. Maxwell had always wanted to chat with Lenny in the evening after school but Lenny had cold shouldered him on several occasions. Lenny loathed the way his parents were always inclined to unending phone conversations that it appeared like a form of slavery and as for him, it wasn’t a habit he wanted to adopt.

“Hey Max!”

“Hey Desk mate, today must rain cats and dogs since I crossed your mind.”

“Not that you don’t buddy but today I seriously need some positive vibe, something refreshing. My heart is broken!”

“Damn! Have you been dating? How did you manage to conceal that?”

“Me? A girl? Cut that out  buddy! Far from it!”

“Oh I thought heartbreaks have to do with matters of the heart.” So what’s up?”

“My parents’ bro, no bond, no ties, no mutual feelings. We are just there!”

“You were born with a silver spoon, your folks are stinking rich and that is enough. Why are you lamenting?”

“How I wish we were poor and happy.”

The dialogue went on and on. Maxwell has a totally different perspective about parents being present, he prefers to have them away as he has a lot of stuff to do on his own.

“I think you are boring my friend. Sorry to say. Amuse yourself, do things. Check this one out!” Lenny was enthralled by a photo sent to his WhatsApp by Max.

“What? How do you get such? You are too exposed for my liking buddy!”

“These things are all over in the web my brother. Don’t be so naive. I have more. Just be my guest! Don’t you have Wi fi in your room?”

“I do!”

“Let me video call you.”


“You see this?” asked Maxwell displaying a bottle of vodka on his screen “This is what they call mzinga, our drinks cabinet is full and my folks are too busy to care so I am letting out the skeletons in the closet for you to see that there is more to life than those boring family trips, chats and dinners you know! I actually pray that they stay away longer so that they do not micromanage my life! I need space!”

“I am short of words.”

“Don’t tell me that at sixteen you are yet to taste this!”

“Don’t be surprised to hear so!”

Maxwell was something else. Lenny needed someone to talk to but not in the way his buddy did it. He was tempted to keep staring at the photos sent to him though. They were not just photos. Three hours later, Mrs. Lawi remembered that her son needed some quality time with her.

“Oh my, I got so engrossed and carried away in these women’s gossip that I forgot that Lenny had requested my audience. I hope he will forgive me.” she sent for him.

“Yes mother!” his tone was indifferent. The mother explained and requested to be forgiven.

“Never mind mother, before you sent for me I was in the middle of something important and so if you don’t mind mother I beg to be excused.


“Do have a good night mother!”

“You don’t walk out on your mother!”

“Watch me do so sweet mother, you need some quiet time with your friends. Talk to them, I’ll suit myself.” She felt remorseful. He had been a charming son, never had he talked to her like that. She promised to make amends.

The following day in school the friends isolated themselves from their peers and kept a safe distance. They had a lot to discuss.

“I must confess that you are unbelievable Max.”

“Why? There is nothing peculiar about anything I said or did to you yesterday. If you allow me a lot is in store for you my friend. You will enjoy everything.” Lenny’s curiosity grew.

It’s two weeks later and the two friends are inseparable. Max has a birthday in two days’ time.

“You need to sleep over for my birthday. I shall talk to mother so that she can request your parents to allow you. Give me her number.” True to his word, Max’s mother called Mrs. Lawi and introduced herself. Mrs. Lawi begged to be allowed to consult the man of the house.

Mr. Lawi was apprehensive about his son visiting people he did not know. “Do they have a proper home? do they eat well? Do they have the kind of furniture that my son is accustomed to?” These were some of the questions running through his mind before granting Lenny permission to sleep over there. His wife on the other hand was quick to give her consent considering that they had had a frozen relationship with Lenny for days now. It was her way of winning him over. For that she persuaded the husband to allow the boy out that Friday night.

Mr. Lawi was obliged to fall for her feminine charms as he did not want problems. He had his own plans for the weekend- a getaway with his side chick Marjawal. His wife had a dinner date with her girlfriends. She was a party animal.

On the D-day, Luka, the chauffeur was charged with the responsibility to drop Lenny to the Mukua’s residence. It was a palatial home- one of a kind. Not so different from Lawi’s house.

The party began. Mr. and Mrs. Mukua decided to go out and excuse the young friends to make merry. They were teenagers who did not want their parents presence on such an auspicious occasions. Servants were however left in charge and asked to keep an eye on the host and his guests. There were at least thirteen guests. Five girls and eight boys. Some had been allowed to attend by their parents, others had sneaked out. The party began.

“Listen, every man has a price, I need you to name your price so that you don’t poke your nose on my business.” Max said to Kimuma their house manager. “I want to keep mum about what goes on in here and make your junior staff to keep their mouths shut too.” Kimuma was caught off guard. he hated bending rules but the temptation was too much. He had a deep conviction to accept the bride as he had lots of debts to settle. His insatiable thirst for alcohol was also a factor that made him fall for the boy’s request.

“Music!” Ajiang, one of guests shouted. The stupor had taken the best part of her. they were all drank. Lenny was introduced to alcohol on that fateful day but the rest were used to. They danced and had fun. Ajiang and her friends showcased their best dance moves while the moves cheered them. Lenny who had tasted alcohol for the first time of course was knocked off by it.

“On to some more fun!” Lenny was introduced to cohabiting too. Juma had also supplied hard drugs to Max. They had been introduced to each other by Ajieng.  That day marked the beginning of Lenny’s adventure. Max and his other new found friends instigated him to teach his absentee parents a bitter lesson.

Mrs. Lawi began to note a lot of change in Lenny. Even when she was on a business trip abroad, he never answered his calls. He was always locked up in his room licking the powdery substances and watching sexually explicit content. Once in a while, he felt like he should never have bowed to succumb into peer pressure but then his dear parents had substituted their presence with money and material things. For them accumulating wealth and talking to friends was their priority. They assumed that the money did the parenting for them.

    To be continued…

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