What’s in a bug – the case of a praying mantis

Let me introduce myself : I am the 3rd daughter of Gatigati u4000 kaMlunjwa kaMbidlane kaMgwabashe, indlalifa nenkosana kaMdambiso.
I hail from the south coast of KZN, eMandleni Tribal Authority is where the white man decided we should be led because Mdambiso, the leader of the clan wouldn’t fratenize with ondlebe zikhanyilanga, so he lost his chieftancy to Duma, his travel companion and friend.
Where I am from, a praying mantis is highly regarded as a symbol of the presence of the ancestors, specifically ugogo (grandmother).
I must admit that I am still a novice in this ancestral stuff.
Growing up, I was told many times to respect this insect and not kill it, but guess what, I always squashed it.
In 2017, I happened to see one on my kitchen window in Pretoria Central. I was staying on the 3rd floor of a rather upscale flat, which was vacuumed every day and had window washers ever so often, so I wondered how exactly the green bug had gotten to my window.
Because I had started the journey of embracing my roots and ancestors, I relished the visit. I was hard broken to find it dead by the sink a few days after.
When I was going through the trials and tribulations of 2018, I was desperate to find a praying mantis anywhere in the huge, beautiful and picturesque flat that was proving to be a money pit. None came. Not to say that my ancestors had deserted me but it sure felt like it.
So when I made umqombothi recently and bragged about it to my family on our many whatsapp groups, my sister Jules laughed at me saying “you made umqombothi but ugogo visited us instead”, this accompanied by a snap of the green bug. Just as I was about to start whining about this blatant favoritism, I spotted one in my mother’s kitchen. Never in my life have I ever been so happy to see an insect.
After losing my dad, I had a new found respect for the after life, the ancestral world. I miss my daddy and other departed family members so much and desperately want to believe that they are with me always.
We need to treasure our elders whilst we still have them around and keep their memories alive when they have been called to the after life.

Published by FabulousMeuJwara

I'm a dark-skinned black woman who loves life, fashion, food and books. I am a writer at heart. I am fat and fabulous. I enjoy traveling and exploring. I am creative and smart. Welcome to my world!

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