Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear Mother

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for raising me so well. I am not sure how you felt when you gave birth to me, however, I would like to believe it was a feeling no word can explain. I do not remember much of my first 4 years on earth, however, I will never forget the very first day at school when I was 6. You knew that money was not there to buy me full school uniform but you did not make it an issue but assured me that I was not the only one. We never really discussed that day until recently when I asked why no one bothered to buy me shoes for my first day at school. You answer was; “At that time, food was my priority. I am not saying shoes were not important but I simply could not afford them”. I asked because now as my son and nephew’s guardian, you do not make that mistake. You make sure you remind me to buy them the necessary stuff needed for school every year without fail.

That year I did very well at school because of you. The pink “Do not Worry Be Happy” two piece tracksuits you bought me were my favourite. For some reason you saw it fit sewing a matching pink school bag. That will always be the most amazing thing you have done for me that year. Years went by and I am proud to have witnessed you grow both as a wife and mother. Those businesses you established so to supplement my father’s salary – I know you did not just start them because it was necessary. Mother, you are one person I know who hardly complains especially when it comes to taking care of your family. You simply get to work. You resilience saw you running an informal shebeen, sewing and selling traditional clothing, and joining stokvels so that me and my siblings can have an amazing life. Father did what he could even though he did not earn that much. I know I do not tell you often that I appreciate you but deep down I know you know I do.

Remember when there was a teacher who used to beat me every Friday until I bled? Yeah, you sorted him out. Remember when older boys beat me up at school? Yeah, you were there making sure I was not someone’s punching bag.

You are the reason I refuse to give up on my dreams. No education and sometimes even the knowledge, but you made the right moves and continue to do so. You clearly shown me that it is truly up to me, no one can do it for me. I can write a book about your business acumen and your understanding to target markets – it is meaty better than meat itself.

To whoever is reading this now, I was raised by a woman who has experienced both hardships and victories pretty much like most black women her age. Mom never really relied on my dad alone to take care of our many needs. For as long as I can remember she was always selling something – be it African beer to clothes. I saw a woman who refused to solely depend on someone else to put food on the table. Mom did not know how to write nor read but her informal businesses were the most good managed businesses I have ever seen (not that I had others I could see, but It’s a fact). It seems she knew her target market well, ultimately creating everything they needed.
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