Queen of Wood: Mama Cosmos
Favourite food: Maiz and Beans
Favoutire drink: Any soda.. but not to much..
Favourite book: The Bible
Splurge: Going to the hair salong twice monthly
Dream: To one expand my business and travel, Any country is ok, I just really want to work.
What do you do on your resting day: Go to church and visit friends.
Meet Mama Cosmos, the woman behind all the wooden work we produce for Malaika Cotton. We have known Mama Cosmos since 10 years now. We didn’t meet under the best of circumstance as the story unfolds below. But nowadays we are both very happy we did meet. Thanks to her business, Mama Cosmos has been able to put all her 5 children through school and they are all in good shape. We meet at our Malaika Cotton Workshop in Diani, Kenya.
Mama Cosmos real name is Doris Munwava Cosmos, she was born 1972 in Machakus, north of Nairobi, Kenya. She was nr 8 of 10 siblings. Her mother worked in the Shamba, the vegetable garden and her father was a Policeman.
When she was 17 her father passed away in an accident. She had by then finished form2 and there was no more money for school fees, so she started working with her mum and helping out in the household.
During the school era she had meet a nice boy named Ngei Cosmos. They were young then but she had an eye for him. Years later she travelled to Mombasa, Kenya to work as a maid in a wealthier Kenyan house. And there she meet Ngei again! He was working as a salesman selling souvenirs and artifacts. This time they got together and married later that same year. They would come to have 5 children together.
We did meet Ngei for the first time during the period when we first came to Kenya some 10 years ago, when we were building up our hotel. He came to see us for a meeting to show us what he could do for us. We started working together on a few projects and we were always delighted of his delivery.
But instead I met a strong looking woman with confident. And even if her voice was small and shy her posture said something else.
By the sudden Ngei collapsed and died on the spot. It was never clear exact cause of death but most likely a hart attack. By this time we had not meet Doris (aka Mrs Cosmos). A few days after the tragedy of Ngeis death I received information that Mr Cosmos wife was at the hotel for a meeting. I prepared myself to meet a grieving woman who just lost her husband and might come to ask for help and support for her family. But instead I met a strong looking woman with confident. And even if her voice was small and shy her posture said something else. She was not at all asking for help, she was at the meeting to inform me that the order I placed with her husband was almost ready to deliver. I remember leaving that meeting with a lot of emotions and of course I knew I would try to create as much work for her as possible.
“If my children now sees me weak they will also be weak, so I need to be strong”.
Today when she tells us that we helped her business on track. Thanks to her business she was able to put her kids to school. She tells us with a big smile, I can just smile right back at her.
Mrs Cosmos is a very cool and inspiring person and we are happy to have been able to provide her work throughout the years. She says God gives her strength and she remember when Ngei died and she thought: “If my children now sees me weak they will also be weak, so I need to be strong”.
I ask her about the respect, as a woman, taking over her husband´s business in a male dominated business-world. She says: “Your need to respect yourself to earn the respect from others.”