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“Chama meetings and self-care”

I had left my house in the afternoon to attend a women’s only investment and table banking meeting popularly known as a chama. As typical with these meetings, we did not start strictly on time and the group’s officials were reluctant to start the meeting without majority of the members being present. This meant that we started at least an hour later than we were supposed to, but it did not matter.  The moment I returned home, my husband shoved our child at me “Take your screaming baby!

“Thankfully, the baby was sleeping peacefully and had not been disturbed by the sudden movement of being shoved into my arms, but my husband was far from peaceful, he was breathing fire and looked ready to burst at the slightest provocation. I quietly took my sleeping baby to her crib as I pondered the events leading up to this moment.


Thank God that he created us women just the way that we are. Though table banking was the primary agenda, we started the meeting off by getting to know how each and every one of the members were doing and frankly speaking, this was the highlight of the meeting, this was the real reason we all ensured that we made time for this gathering.


It is in this session that women open up about their lives. We cry during the sessions, we laugh,  hug and sing – it is always healing session. It is the closest any of us ever get to therapy and it was way better than trying to tell a stranger how we were doing.


So even if I could tell that time was not on our side, even if I could tell that today’s session was taking longer than usual, this meeting meant too much for me to just leave. When I noticed the time, I texted my husband to let him know that I was running late but I suppose he either did not get my message or was not happy. 


Before attending the Muamko Mpya training I did not understand what the weekly chama meetings did for me and why they were important. It was during this training that I finally understood self-care and understood the importance of these meetings to my psychological wellbeing, now I will endeavour to educate my husband on the importance of self-care. Hopefully, he will understand and next time I am late, he will not be so upset.

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