The Burden of “Progressive” Sons

in Worries of the Heart

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226554198
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226554228 | DOI:
The Burden of “Progressive” Sons

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This chapter explores the burdens of Peter Avugwi, Yohana Ndanyi, and MarikoMutiva from the Maragoli community. Once Avugwi, Ndanyi and Mutiva finished their schooling they went to work in the city. Their visits to their village were often cut short due to insufficient money. They could not stay longer without the money to maintain their image as progressive men. Widows whose sons worked far away from home in Nairobi or Mombasa had fewer opportunities to be frustrated with their sons than widows with educated homebound sons, whose improper behavior might be a source of daily disappointment for the mothers. James Muliru's case is an eloquent illustration of the pressures placed on sons who stay in the village and work locally. Somehow widows had to learn how to live with their sons in spite of their weaknesses, in spite of the humiliations their sons endured.

Keywords: progressive man; Peter Avugwi; Yohana Ndanyi; MarikoMutiva; James Muliru; widows; Nairobi; Mombasa

Chapter.  4760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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