This post was prompted by a memory flash of when I was 12 and struggling to cope with the bullying at school and at home. I went through a lot in my childhood but especially when I was 12, I was even hospitalized at one point. I found out that khulu Manyova wasn’t my Dad’s actual mom at 12. Grown men with beards, wearing Brentwood and ish started pursuing me at 12. I grew boobs at 12.
But back to this memory flashback, some people told on me and I think it was Skhanyile and maybe Mpume or Mso, I am not sure who accompanied Skhanyile on her snitching mission. I don’t even know if it was done out of concern for my well-being or to get me into trouble… (The incident with Miss Mothlomi had also been reported to my folks by these girls, but I honestly still can’t tell you if they were trying to get me into trouble or what.)
One of the girls from school actually wrote me a letter when I came back from hospital but I just didn’t wanna deal with her, so I tore it up and threw it away without reading it.
So, both times when these girls had told on me to my parents, I would be made to take a day off from school the following day.
So after the pee incident snitching, my mom took me to Ixopo for grocery shopping but we had a detour. We got off the taxi kaDumisa eStation and had a long talk whilst walking on the disused railway spoor. We agreed on some remedial actions, which actually made a huge impact on my emotional and mental well-being. I am not sure if I had experienced my mom’s softer, tender side before then. I wonder if I was always such a needy person. I really needed this from my mom.
I had always wanted my mom to be there at home every day, so I could feel like other kids but she had to work, so she could give us a better life. I understand it now, but I didn’t want to back then.
My mom, Mdu and I were always in the garden together back in the 90s and we talked a lot about life during those gardening sessions. Mom is very conservative and a prude of note, so I couldn’t tell her everything… if you know what I mean.
And when she worked at JV clinic from around 1996, which is when she was studying at UND, guess who visited her the most? Mdu and I!
Those were fun times. Mdu enjoyed the hot baths, heater, oven, tv… Things that were a luxury at home but basics at my mom’s work cottage. Even there, she had a vegetable garden. Garden to table has always been her way!
My mom loves the garden. When she retired from nursing, she became a full-time gardener. Whether it was sunny, windy, rainy or any other type of day, you knew where to find her. She and Daddy decided to buy a few cows and goats, and she relished looking after them!
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that my mom could do it all. She was a speedy gonzales on the road, taxi drivers would always beg us to ask her to slow it down a bit.
One thing that my mom’s not good at is communication. My brother Mdu laughs at me whenever I try to teach her to speak normal IsiZulu and not speak in riddles.
The next best thing is to translate when she’s speaking to the grandkids, cause they really don’t have a clue. Even Guji, the Zuluest of them all needs my translations!
We disagree on a lot of things and sometimes she surprises me. She enjoys watching Somizi on tv! She has zero problems with homosexuality.
Mommy loves her boys, her princes!
Usually daughters love daddies and sons love mothers & vice versa, which has always been the case but I made a conscious decision to love her unconditionally and I intend to do just that.😍
My dad used to quote proverbs when describing her, he loved her faithfully and accepted her exactly as she is. They were partners and a united force, always ruining our fun.🤦This is probably the reason why we can detect bs and distance ourselves from it promptly. We know what love looks like and what men are capable of for their partners. Daddy showed us in how he loved mom.
She has always been overshadowed by Daddy as if Dad did all these things by himself. Behind every successful man…
The 14th of July isn’t just my dad’s birthday but the anniversary of her stroke. I always talk about my momma being hemiplegic and stuff but I don’t think I have ever unpacked it.
The first posthumous birthday of our father was a difficult one for all of us and I thought that mom being her forgetful self, she won’t even remember it.
I had just moved out of Loreto convent (a story for another day) & moved into a super expensive place around the corner from the office, which meant that I had paid admin fees, deposit and first month’s rent to City property and bought electricity units, groceries, a new bed, curtains, you name it. Hlengiwe and @sibomkhize dedicated the whole day to helping me get settled. I was over the moon but broke!
The next day I got the news of my mom’s stroke and I immediately thought that she’ll make a full recovery, she was not fat, she was active and she took her medication accordingly. Wrong! She lost her ability to write as her right hand side was most affected by the stroke.
Listen, my mom was running her NGO, raising a 2 year old, running the shop, working the garden and doing the usual household chores at her age and she made it look easy. In fact she started to feel the symptoms on her way back from the garden, someone had come to buy amadumbe after the shop was closed.
Her life and that of my then 2 year old niece changed abruptly.
I got on the bus (didn’t even have money for buying a coffee on the way) after work on the 20th I think it was a Friday. I was glad to find out that her speech and mind weren’t affected. It turned out that it was a serious stroke actually!
We arranged for her rehabilitation after we realized that she needed around the clock assistance. Thanks to my big sis Jules and aunty Albina, they did all the heavy lifting.
My sister had to take care of our niece too.
I remember how our niece would climb into bed with her Gogo as soon as we got to the hospital and the drama when we had to leave! She stayed there for a while and even made friends.
My niece and mommy are still very close and I see my now 7 years old niece taking the parent role in their relationship. Gogo resists but I think eventually she’ll give in. She asks my mom questions like ‘are you full? did you take your medication? are you cold? do you need anything? …’ They have such a tight bond.
Mommy loves knitting! She makes about 3 beanies or 2 scarfs in a week, we all have different sets. In the beginning she made and donated them to her NGO, to be distributed to orphans. I think I wanna start selling them 🤔
Umuntu akaqedwa. There’s plenty more I could say but I leave it here for now.