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Busted!! With a Boshori


Someday last week while chilling in the house sipping on my hot mug of tea and glad that I was not outdoors in the cold and the pouring rain, an idea struck my mind. To shield Kitty’s head and neck area from the effects of the cold, why not dress him in a boshori?

Then my lips broke out into a smile at that thought. I was smiling because I remembered something that happened a while back, during the cold season in July last year.

A boshori is that woolen attire that kids (and some watchmen) wear on their heads. For some strange reason, these boshori’s come in the most hideous of colors –orange, yellow, luminous green, purple… the brighter the better. And they always have these pompoms at the top. What for, I don’t know.

Now, on those days when we were dating, Baba Kitty used to look at kids with boshori’s and he used to go like: “My kid will never wear one of those.” He used to (and still does) find them grotesque.

Me, I used to be quite amused at how much he detested the boshori’s but to be honest, I never quite had an opinion on whether I liked them or not. I was just there. I didn’t have feelings for them because they didn’t affect me in any way. And besides, discussing boshori’s was not such an interesting topic for people who were dating.

Then, we got a baby. Kitty that is.

So last July when the weather was really cold and chilly, Kitty was three months old. And the more I thought about it, the more the whole concept of boshori’s suddenly made sense to me. But knowing how much his father detested them, I decided get an alternative. So I shopped for the other kind of head gear – the cotton ones that are just similar to boshori’s but are NOT boshori’s. And Kitty remained warm. And Baba Kitty was happy. And I was happy.

But to be honest, me I was not very satisfied. Because being the true Kenyan mother that I am, me I wanted the original gichagi-style boshori’s because I  believe they keep the baby very warm and shield baby from the cold elements. There was just something comforting in believing that they are the only ones that could keep my little boy warm.

So what I did was tailor some three boshori’s in nice colors, not those luminous ones. Oh well, they still had those popmpom-ish things at the top, but atleast the pompoms were not dangling.

I made them in colors white, blue and cream. The perfect colors for a cute little boy. Then I began strategizing on how I would convince Baba Kitty that the weather was very very bad, and that it was in medical order that we dress Kitty up in them.

So one day, Kitty and I sat nicely waiting for daddy to come home in the evening so that we could show him our new warm look. And when he came in, he said hello to us as is routine, then proceeded to freshen up. No comment about our new look. I wondered if he had noticed the boshori at all.

When he joined us a few minutes later, he asked me:

“What is that on Kitty’s head?”

Aha! Kumbe he’d noticed!

Me: Uuuummm…you know…boshori. It’s keeping him very warm…

Him: For a minute there I didn’t recognize my son.

And then the conversation ended there.

It was clear from his demeanor that he wasn’t feeling the boshori. Sigh.

So what I did from then henceforth was to dress Kitty in a boshori during the day and then promptly remove it in the evening just before Baba Kitty would check in. When I would hear him pulling up on the driveway, I would immediately switch from woolen boshori to cotton boshori. If I didn’t have enough time to make the switch or I was feeling too lazy to wake up and take it away, I would just slip (hide) it under the cushion I was sitting on. This went on well and Kitty remained warm and happy. And so was I. And so was Baba Kitty. We were all happy.

So it happened that one day we were beating stories with Baba Kitty, he told me he wanted to show me something. That he wanted to surprise me.

Oh, it’s just one of the things I love about Baba Kitty. Boy don’t I love surprises from him! They’re just the best. My heart started beating fast as I anticipated the lovely surprise he had in store for me.

So he began reaching for under the cushion, and I wondered what kind of surprise could fit under the cushion. Could it be a wad of notes? A chocolate maybe? Oh, couldn’t he just reveal the surprise already! I was all pulsating with delight because I knew it would be a wonderful surprise.

Then Baba Kitty pulled out a boshori from under the seat. iFROZE.

Him: Surprise!!!!

Me: Hit by a tsunami of shock. Meanwhile, jaw is dropping, almost hitting the ground. Wololo!!

Him: I know you usually dress him in a boshori and remove it just before I get into the house.

Me: Feeling lightheaded. Shocked beyond words. Trying to find words from the cat that had gotten my tongue.

So anyway, turns out that he knew I had been doing so all along, from day one. And to think of how I had strategically plotted and crafted this plan putting in so much effort and thought into it, and executing it with the secrecy and tact of an NSIS or CIA agent, the kind of planning that would put Jack Bauer’s operations to shame.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


  1. Ha ha ha ha . Knowing you. Kitty must have worn the boshori again…I’m sure you crafted something….lolest!!! Ok, donate the boshoris to Baraka n Kitty B…we shall gladly adorn the Mayinetlets in them…..lol!!!Humorous post indeed

  2. You did it!

    I’m with Baba Kitty… we live in the tropics 🙂
    Anyway, Zoe’s never worn one of those because Mama doesn’t feel them… plus she won’t keep any other hat on anyway…. despite being a baldy:)
    So sometimes I think -okay maybe the boshori is not a bad idea… at least she won’t know how to take it off… but still can’t stand them so no boshori for now. Unless it snows in Nairobi then I’m definitely getting one!

  3. Purrrrrrrrrrrrfect!!!!Mulembe nite it is whether organized by Citizen or Safaricom…It would be nice if we got complementaries……just thinking out aloud

  4. Ofcourse the boshori doesnt need to be hidden anymore..its legal isnt it?

    Hated them, i prefered to dress my boy in hooded ‘jumpers’. Later moved to Europe n i miss those boshoris, case of you never know the value of something til you miss it! i dont care about the colours anymore i think they are all beautiful!! Cant stand the ‘ mini helmets’ here…long live boshori.

  5. Lolest…am also w Baba Kitty…urghhhh!!! @mama Zoe, my babies were much like Zoe. detested anything on their heads. Zainabu was a snow bunny born during winter came home from hospital on a snowy day. The Nairobi cold has never affected her so I didn’t bother much with the rest who are alot like me and get heat rash at the drop of a coin. So a boshori would be out of the question! Bothers my in-laws tho who think my kids are never dressed warm enough.

  6. @Kem you make a good point there. You never know what you have until it’s gone. LOL ati you don’t care about the colors hehe. Clearly you’re missing the boshori’s!

    @Mama Azizi I so know those people who think that kids should not only be in a boshori, but permanently in a sweater! Even when the sun is high up they’re still like: Mama valisha mtoto fulana” How now?

  7. I’m with you Mwarikhwa on this one. Boshoris are a serious innovation from back in the day and keep baby so nice and warm. I sent some to SA for Kalizies baby shower three years ago. How happy was she? Kwanza with the harsh winter breeze. Im sure the foreigners over there needed explanation on the roots and origin of it. Nice one Mwariks, cracked me up.
    As for Mary, sawa heard you loud and clear, you’d better be really sweet and come bearing gifts and perhaps we can discuss the comps.

  8. i have never laughed soo hard in the office like the way i just did!!! how hilarious was that!!! but i know what baba Kitty means! me n boshoris!!!!! never i don’t care the colour!
    but you know what cracked me up the most…..that even after you made them in the nice plain colours….you still went and put the pompoms on them!!!! lol i think you did that just for kicks! but thanks you made my day!!! and dreary as it looks!! 🙂

  9. @Wash thumbs up to them boshori’s clearly those in the diaspora totally appreciate them more than we do here :). And why haven’t I seen Kitty Jnr in one? You want me to shonesha for him? Which color?

    @Shaz hehe imagine I had to make the pompoms coz maybe there’s a mechanism as to how they work in keeping the baby warm weeee me I didn’t want to mess with the design maybe they’re there for a reason so in the pompoms went 🙂

  10. I am a boshori mum, both my kids have worn them,we often travel to freezing Kericho and trust me the cold there sometimes makes me think there are icicles on the tips of my kids ears, they get really cold. Boshori is a life saver any day.

    LOL…really great post keep writing.


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