Hi! Hope you still remember me, Akinyi the banker. It’s been more than a minute since I wrote you anything. Not that I haven’t been thinking about you and your kind, far from it. There isn’t a single day I have not thought of my last letter to you and what I hadn’t told you in it. I have so much to tell you only that it’s all juggled up in my brain. Furthermore I have been preoccupied with work most of the time and the rest of the time trying to play my motherly role to Sandbaby. I hope with that lengthy explanation you’ll find it in your heart to accept my apology because what I am going to tell you is very important.
I might not have mentioned this before but I have a brother, we call him Kaka. His birthday was just the other month, like my daughter and myself. Yes we are the January babies. It’s been about a year or so since my brother graduated from the University and I just remembered vaguely what he wrote on his graduation day.
“Dear Sister, you remember the letter you wrote to me when I went to high school? Today I fulfill that dream and request of yours. Because of you I have come this far. I love you big sis.” He texted.
I did not attend his graduation, I had to compromise, for a more important duty and calling. I have since cracked my head on what might have been the contents of that letter in vain until this year over our birthdays. The revelation was really mind blowing to say the least. You see my mother had inculcated a culture of writing letters in us from a young age and since we did not have mobile phones I enjoyed writing to her as much as I enjoyed reading her letters. In fact I had both local and international pen pals in my primary and secondary schools respectively.
Letter writing was my second love, after reading of course. This is because it gave me confidence to be honest and open up my heart to my audience especiaclly because in our homesteads a child is to be seen and not heard. Back to my brother though before I veer off completely. Kaka, the only son to my father, lacked male role models or siblings, or so I thought. At the time he was joining high school I had just completed my degree and though I knew my dad was happy with this achievement I also knew he’d be happier if it was his son who had graduated.
With this in mind I probably penned down a letter to Kaka. I say probably because I can not honestly recall exactly what I wrote. In my letter I must have told him to work hard in his studies and not let his father down as he was his only son. I confided in him that it was lonely being the only one in the family to have achieved this milestone. I pointed out to him how father continuously praised me at the expense of my siblings something that vexed them so much. I was the black sheep or the ugly duckling in the family and as such I loathed going home for holidays. I must have gone on to tell him not to shame my mother because dad thought he spent so much of his time at her side. And because I love my brother with my own life I signed off with my love.
My brother worked very hard in his education and on his first attempt at the national exams he performed exceptionally well but he had not achieved his expectations. We spoke at length on his options but he later decided to go back to school to try his luck for the second time. He still performed well, but again not to his expectations. This time he accepted his fate and joined the university for his undergraduate program.
I am so proud of my brother just so you know but what has moved me is his endeavor to fulfill my wish, my humble prayer. I did not know that a simple letter to a teenager could have such a life changing impact. I thought he’ll read it and dump it. I know I am not alone. There are many others who would like to impact and mentor a girl or a boy but are not very good in public speech or rather verbal narrative. Have you ever thought of writing a letter to one single child every term? Or month? Can you imagine what impact it might have on them?In the process maybe we could allow them to write back and this way gain their confidence. One letter may just be what that child needs to turn his or her life around. To excel in this journey called life everyone needs all the help they need to achieve academic excellence.