Around the world on a bike, that’s Wamuyu’s goal this year
For this year’s mother’s day, we spoke to Wamuyu Kariuki, of Throttle Adventures, who is more at a home on a bike than most women would be. She intends to take that bike on a world tour across all the continents on a journey that will take three and a half years. In this interview, she speaks to us about being a woman, a daughter and a mom.
Wamuyu the Woman
…still very young, at the age of 16 to 19. (Laughs)
I work in…
…I’ve been exposed to many trades. I’ve worked in the oil industry, I’ve had some experience in HR, I’ve worked in operations and briefly worked in the banking industry. Currently, my career is riding a motorcycle.
…That I have had to relearn Geography because of this adventure we want to take across the world – not every country but at least all the continents. We want to ride from Cape to Cape, God willing.
…to make one person happy a day. It has helped me keep myself in check. So when I’m talking or interacting with people, I always ask myself, “Is this that person?” So think before you speak, think before you do.
Wamuyu the daughter
Now that you’re a mum, what would you like to tell your own mum?
My daughter is 18 and looking through my teenage years, I keep asking God to not let her be like me. (Laughs) I gave my mum a few problems during my teenage years and I always apologise to her for that because I now understand her.
What is it that you admire about your mother that you hope to emulate?
My mother is the best financial manager I know. After my dad passed on, she became dad and mum and we never lacked.
What is the biggest lesson your mother has taught you?
Being generous. She’s very generous and I still don’t measure up to her.
Have you taken after your mother in any way?
Yes, being careful with money. If you don’t need it, you don’t have to buy it. I have taught my kids about money, how not to budget my money for things they don’t need.
Wamuyu the mom
…fun, a lot of work, commitment and it is an emotional rollercoaster. It’s a package and it calls for selflessness. Everyone else comes first and mom last.
How many more kids do you intend to have?
I have two kids an 18 and 15-year old, I don’t intend to have more.
Is it true that raising teenagers can be a struggle?
We are all very different. You have to constantly try as a mother to be their friend but still be their mother first. There are many stages of life and you can’t block any stage but as a parent, you need to guide your children. However, society also affects our children so we cannot solely blame parents when they rebel.
Speaking of society, what are your thoughts on the #ifikiewazazi discussion?
I felt two things about it. I felt there was a community behind it that was very bitter that these things were happening. They were right to be bitter. They were crying out, they did not know how to say it and get the information to us parents. They wanted us to know these things are happening. But it also exposed the children to the public and this will affect them negatively. I feel that as a community, we should have done something about it instead of exposing them to public ridicule.
What has changed about you since you became a mother?
After I became a mom, I forgot myself for a bit. You realize that you have a bigger responsibility. Babies are helpless when they are small and learning how to communicate with this baby changes you. It’s a big thing.
Is there a right time to have a child?
The right time to have a child is when you are prepared mentally, physically and you are comfortable with being a mom. For some people, it happens when you are in your twenties, others thirties and even forties. The financial bit is not a huge issue though it plays a part.
When you are not prepared, you’re bound to go through shock. If you are in a position to plan for it, plan. However, if it happens when you haven’t planned it just take it positively.
How would you describe your experience of motherhood?
I was divorced before, so right now I’m in my second marriage. My divorce happened when my kids were very little and we went through a seven-year court battle and eventually we got 50/50 custody.
I never gave up on going to see my children. My visitation times were on weekends and at times he would not let me see them and I would camp there until he let me see them. At times I would break down but I would never give up on my kids.
What’s the one thing you want your child to know about life?
I teach my kids to be independent, I’m against inheritance. I’m against teaching kids about rich or poor because I do not know the measure of rich or poor. There is no perfect measure. Poverty or richness is a state of mind.
Ensuring they get the best education is my investment in them. I teach them to work hard. I expose them to many things, they don’t have to be a lawyer or a doctor. I do not want them to be defined by the society and its expectations. Being the best can only be defined by you not the society.
What’s your message to all the mothers out there?
Make a lot of pancakes and eat them. Being a mom comes with a lot of things. We have new challenges, good times, and happy moments. Celebrate everything in that package that comes with being a mom. Celebrate all the milestones. Motherhood has gone beyond just women, let us celebrate women who are moms and men who have become a mom because of that role of being a caregiver. Let us celebrate all women and men playing the role of moms.
Happy mother’s day!