AÂ mother shipÂ (orÂ mothership) is a vehicle (ship, aircraft or spacecraft) that serves or carries one or more smaller vehicles. Examples includeÂ bombersÂ converted to carryÂ experimental aircraftÂ to altitudes where they can conduct their research (such as theÂ B-52Â carrying theÂ X-15), or ships that carry small submarines to an area of ocean to be explored (such as theÂ Atlantis IIÂ carrying theÂ Alvin). The mother ship may also recover the smaller craft, or may go its own way after releasing it.â€
Caroline Mutoko is a mothership. She is strong, successful at what she does, opinionated, seemingly wealthy, bossy, famous, admiredâ€¦and yet for the same reasons, she is misunderstood andâ€¦intensely disliked by many! I do not purport to know her well enough to write in herÂ defenseÂ (she does that all by herself very well and doubt that she needs my help with that!)â€¦nor am I a fan of her radio show but, her personality and place in the public eye (she is a celeb!) and the way she isÂ perceivedÂ by many leads me to want to say something about her.
We constantly complain about our empty debe or air-headed celebs who usually have nothing of substance to say past the talent and money they have and yet when we suddenly get one who has an opinion and is brilliant enough to articulate it, we are quick to want to dumb her down. As if we want her to just shut up already and â€œeatâ€ her money quietly! In fact, we all tend to sound like witches who wish the worst calamity on herâ€¦her offspring and anything associated with her!
I just think most peopleâ€¦and that includes some womenâ€¦just donâ€™t really like successful peopleâ€¦and its two strikes if they are women. Add a third strike if there is no successful man in the picture! Caroline Mutoko is strong and mirrors our weaknesses…or tends to remind us of our failuresâ€¦or what we will never have or be! She speaks her mind, says what she likes because she is her own woman. We are such pessimists that we tend to not see her as a positive influence, a mentor for us to emulate or set our goals by. We give up before we even start and end up settingÂ ourselvesÂ on fire consumed with hate and dislike for her success. Most of us cannot understand how she has not crumbled under the repeated onslaughts from the general public and so we keep on bringing up all sorts of sordid stories about her.
But she has refused to let the public write her narrative. In factâ€¦it is these same stories that seem to make her stronger and a mystery that we continue to hammer at hoping to â€œkillâ€ her and then look for the next victim after burying her in the heap where we send people (Nancy Baraza comes to mind) that we have made capitulate and brought down to their knees with attacks such as these. Caroline is always taking one for the girls because she encapsulates the strong woman who like the mothership, carries all of us with her as she sets sail inÂ unchartedÂ spaces where others have dared and fell. She is a mentor, a philanthropist and constantly speaks out asking young women to stand up for something and not be content with mediocrity.
I would at this point hasten to askâ€¦so what if she was the mpango at the home when the mighty Iroko fell! What does that change and what abomination did she commit that Kenyans are not already famous or infamous for? Caroline can never be let off the hook! Even after she offered (unconfirmed media sources) an â€œalibiâ€ for where she was when Mutula diedâ€¦she was at hospital condoling a friend and workmate, a lady, who was admitted in hospitalâ€¦comments after theÂ rumorÂ carried by a daily rag went something likeâ€¦â€Why was she at the hospital with the lady overnight? Is she her husband?â€ Another chimed in response to that thusâ€¦”Caroline does not like men!â€â€¦.of courseÂ insinuatingÂ that she might just be a dyke!â€¦So they sort of accepted her alibi but still wanted to lynch her and open a new platform on which to continue attacks on her!
SoÂ incessantÂ andÂ urgentÂ is the need to cut Caroline down to size that a Facebook lynch page is open for all â€œmembersâ€ to jump in and vent any time she speaks and they, in turn, need to respond and add their two cents (which isÂ really usually nonsense!). I think this is what helps her to grow. Every time people post insults in response to her she actually gets more material to keep her radio show going. This is all good fodder for her. All these people need toÂ listenÂ to her everyday or play catch up and listen when an issue is out there. All this hullabaloo drives traffic to her radio station. Consequently, noÂ amountÂ of kelele from the baying public will make her bosses sack her. It is all symbioticâ€¦you feed on her, the radio station gets its traffic and the bosses are happy. IÂ thinkÂ that balances the equation!
And while we are at it, the baying wolves should remember that she has a big platform from which she is able to adequately respond to all her critics at once. And it is no skin off her hinny because it is her job and she would actually enjoy doing that!
I like the talk that she gave to the Eve Sisters about relationships and I hope the young girls there were listening. She was not speaking out of her hat and had prime examples that she mimicked complete with the sound and idiom of how we sound when making excuses for the bad decisions and choices we make in life.
I particularly like the scenario she creates of a lady who happily goes for a date at Kwa Njuguna. Going to Njugunaâ€™s is fine and fun as sheÂ says. But that should not constitute the entirety of what it means to have a good time.
Well-to-do men often go to masandukuni to drink and eat nasty mutura every once in a while but they later retreat to where they think it befits them on the social ladderâ€¦and where they also hope to meet the future mother of their children. So if you set your standards so low, why do you expect the guy to treat you any different?
The same applies to ladies who can opt to visit seemingly seedy joints with their girlfriends to eat, drink, catch up on stories and gossip and just like the men do, they also remember what their goals in life are and move on back on track!
I live in the US where there is no limit to what a woman can do if she wants to be successful and independent at that. Fundamental of which is to value yourself and also get a good education. Learning selfÂ relianceÂ at an early age is crucial and moving away from the belief that aÂ womanâ€™sÂ history is etched in stone from the time she is bornâ€¦to the time she bows out of the stage of the play called â€œthis lifeâ€.
Despite the fact that we are given a western education, some of us remain tethered to the ways of our long gone mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles that insist that a woman is nobody if she does not get an additional tag to her nameâ€¦as in a husband.
Caroline alludes to this when she mimicked ladies who, despite having a good education and job, have as their dream, the hope of â€œensnaringâ€ a good husband and then quitting everything to become a stay-at-home mother. That needless to say will be the first step towards committingÂ harakiriâ€¦stranglingÂ yourselfÂ socially and emotionally.
I am happy to say that at this stage in life I have wonderful, strong and independent women friends who have doneÂ marvelouslyÂ well on their own. I love it when I travel home and we gather at a â€œhen partyâ€ where we talk about almost anything under the sunâ€¦our children, careers, husbands or non-husbands, love found or lostâ€¦with food and wine flowingÂ copiously!
And yes some people have said all there is to say about us the â€œhensâ€ (when I was last home a gentleman we knew from our college days approached our table of girls at Impala club and greeted us sayingâ€¦â€Well wellâ€¦If it isnâ€™t Grace (our host) and the Pips!â€.) Believe me, it all does begin to sound soÂ yesterdayÂ that they give up and begin to respect you for who you are.
Why does dependency appeal to us so much? Is it the psychological misconception we have that our mothers who stayed at home had a good life?..an easy life? Did we ever stop to think that our mothers may have not had the benefit of an advanced education and the chance for theÂ new-foundÂ freedoms that we have increasingly get with the changing technological communication and socio-economic environment. Why do we fear to be alone just because society will label you a loser, cheap, immoral etcâ€¦just because you do not have a husband? What is wrong with being single, a single mother and being a success at it and especially if the man responsible has abdicated theirÂ irresponsibility? In my eyes, all single mothers are the unsung heroesâ€¦Ask all those guys who go by names like James Wa Maria!
Ladies, you should talk to your mothers and you will discover that most of them want you to have a better life than they did. That does not necessarily mean living single or getting married. It just means that you need to be making sensible decisions guided by whatever situation you find yourself in. And that includes having oodles of self esteem and putting yourself in frontâ€¦putting yourself firstâ€¦and letting the kingdom followâ€¦.Like Caroline the mothership does!
Â©njeriOsaak is a trained journalist, a Public Relations professional and a College Speech Communication teacher, currently based in the United States.Â