Murdering Pain

Her pain gets in the way of things. It creeps past the shadow of the moonlight and strides into her dreams, stealing the spotlight and demanding an encore. It intrudes upon conversations, pinching syllables and leaking out into her stuttering pauses. It barges into her office, pocketing her focus and racing away with it like a desperate shoplifter. Most of all, it hovers over her like a buzzing fly waiting to feast on her festering wounds

So she tries to murder it.

She smothers it with cold hard mandazis at midnight, trying to fill the big gaping pit in her heart with leftover sugar and fried dough. But her pain hides, it peeks out from the growing bulge that spills out over the top her mitumba skirt.

She tries to paint over its existence with lipstick too expensive for her to afford; a bright red bought from the cosmetics shelf at Tuskys, one that will cover up her bitten lips. But the pain won’t let her scarlet smile reach her eyes.

She tries to make it drowsy with sleeping pills from the little brown sachet that Mama Kevo gave her, praying for a dreamless night. But the pain didn’t fit into the bags underneath her eyes, and so even as they disappear, pain coats her eyes with a filter of hardness.

She tries to overpower its potency with beauty. Bunches of bright pink bougainvillea from her fence stuffed into empty coke bottles and scattered strategically in corners throughout the house. A red and yellow flowered khanga bought from her skinny Congolese tailor, with the message Bora maisha; mengine ni majaliwa on the border. Daudi Kabaka filling the living room air with his sweet voice and songs from a time when life skipped instead of dragging. But the stench of pain remains, like a piece of dog shit stuck on her shoe.

She tries to squeeze it out of her spine, pushing her curved back and shoulders into a defiant straightness, thrusting out breasts that lost their sag from breastfeeding three children. But her pain dissolves into a million little particles and hides in the hemoglobin of her blood, making her heart beat faster and taking charge of her blood pressure.

In every way she tries to kill it, it finds new places to hide. Her pain is a shape shifter. And it will never go away. Because she had to bury her child. A daughter who died whilst giving life.

So now, she will teach her orphaned grandchildren how to hide the pain of growing up without their mother. Because she realizes that there are some pains that can never be killed. These children will grow up in this world carrying their pain around with them like little invisible rucksacks on their backs. They may get used to the weight, to the bulk, but they will never be able to shed the load.

Every day in Kenya, 26 women die from complications of childbirth and pregnancy. With the right care, many of these deaths can be prevented by trained midwives. You have a role that you can play. On March 28th 2015, join us from 8:00am at the Ngong Road Forest Sanctuary, as we walk away the pain to Save a Mum with Chase Group Foundation. Every step you take, will go towards training new midwives in rural Kenya, and improving access to pre-natal care.

Register here or visit any Chase Bank or Rafiki Branch and Select Innscore (Pizza Inn) or Big Square Outlets. Or give them a call on 0730 175 000 | 0709 800 00,  Whatsapp on 0773 758196,  Email at:

In a world filled with so much pain already, we must do our best to lessen it. With love. With caring. Together. And as we walk, we will feel the breeze kiss our faces, listen to the trees whispering and the birds chuckling, and we will probably feel grateful to be alive, and that we have the ability to  do something to help give life to others.

Photo Credit


8 thoughts on “Murdering Pain

  1. Your writing smh. I read this 3x in a row. Your play on words is just rich. Absolutely love this piece and will share to help raise awareness!

  2. your pieces show a mastery of the nouns,like a grammar Nazi!!!i love your voice,coz you know how to put it into good use,my question is..,have you ever taken the podium to narrate short stories???you mustb be good…###prodigy’s take

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