To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow." -- Maya Angelou
Ewoi Akuta is the perfect example of the immense strength that mothers have. Ewoi is a Turkana (native community that is playing host to the refugees). Her name means wedding in Turkana. She is 52 years old and a mother of seven (six boys and one girl).
She was in an abusive marriage and her brothers rescued her and gave her a place to build where she lives with her children.
She is strong not only because she is the survivor of Gender Based Violence (GBV), no! On the day we visited, she was building a new hut because the old one was leaking and had given her a hard time during the rainy season.
Akuta ontop of her roof
Among the Turkana’s it’s the women and girls who build and repair huts, cook, gather firewood, fetch water etc. while the men and boys do the herding, supervising each herd unit and provide security for the homestead
A few days earlier, she had cut several thin branches and twigs from the acacia trees, stuck them on the ground and bent them towards the center to form a circular structure for a hut. She was in the process of covering the structure with dry palm leaves that she had cut.
Akuta ontop of her roof
Using fresh sisal strips with her bare hands Akuta firmly tied the dry palm leaves onto the structure. Occasionally she used a ladder which she had make to climb to the roof in order to cover the highest points of the house so as to form a beautiful water proof dome shaped hut, safe for her and her young children. The older ones use a separate hut.
Another reason she inspired us with her strength is while cutting the branches and twigs for her last hut three years ago, a sharp stick pricked her leg and it turned into a big wound that has since refused to heal.
Ewo Akuta's sick leg
It’s hard to believe that she has lived with the would for the last three years and as we witnessed her swiftly climb up and down the ladder climbing the roof and hanging in right there, we couldn’t help seeing the strength in a woman in this hard and harsh part of the world. We were left wondering if she could be that woman explained
Akuta and Pamelo Omwodo SIFA FM stations General Manager
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:25-28