Saturday, 5 May 2012

Why children of single-parents are revolutionaries in the making by Malaika wa Azania

by Malaika Wa Azania on Monday, March 14, 2011 at 8:39am ·
My mother was a student when she had me.Infact,she gave birth to me on her twentieth birthday,the 19th of October 1991.At the time,she was the Secretary General of COSAS in Soweto.My father was a year older and was its President.
This was during the time when the revolutionary road was uncertain.Nelson Mandela had just gotten out of prison,the country was holding its breath,the Boers weren't sure if they should get on planes back to Europe and somewhere in Azania,there was a bastard master-minding the assassination of Chris Hani.

My grandmother was a domestic worker,getting paid barely enough money to GET to work.Three of my mother's younger brothers were in high-school and my granny had just lost one of her twins,Tshepang.My aunt,Tshepiso,the surviving twin,was in Baragwanath Hospital,fighting for her life.

Conditions,both socio-political and economical,didn't allow for my mother to keep a child.But she did.Even when it became clear to her that she'd be raising me on her own (my father had decided to pursue his career,to study at Wits University),she didn't even consider the possibility of aborting me.
And this is not unique to me,it is the story of many a single mother.

There's this wrong perception doing the rounds that children raised by single mothers are lacking in some way.People think that not having a father does some irreversible psychological damage on the children.I differ 100% with this.

The is nothing in the world like the strength of a woman.A woman alone can make a feast with a loaf of bread.
The role of a father is to protect and care for its children,financially and otherwise.Now,there are mothers who do this,atleast that's what mine has been doing for the past 19 years of my existance.

Those of us raised by single parents know one thing:hardships.I'm sure that you've also seen your own mother hit rock-bottom.When school fees are unreasonable,and she must still put a meal on the table,on top of that you fall sick,and as if that's not enough,you must get new shoes...We've all seen the look in her eyes when you need to buy that exam pad but she doesn't even have money for a load of's not easy,i tell you.But the amazing thing about that woman,is that by sunset,she'll have made a plan,and not only will there be bread,there'll be fried fish and chips too!

Children raised by single mothers are destined to change the world.Our experiences with hardships prepare us for a cruel world.

>We value things
Because we grow up knowing that we must work for everything me want,we value what we have.

>We are driven
Because of our own experiences with not having things,we never want to repeat that cycle.We work twice as hard,so that we break free from those conditions.

>We are compassionate
Being raised by a woman teaches you compassion.We see our mothers give to others the little that they have,and that teaches us to give ALL that we have.

My former Biology teacher,Mr Poley,always said to us: "The longer in the fire,the brighter the gold"
The longer you experience hardships,the more prepared you are to face the brutal world.

If there are men out there who have run away from their children,let me warn have no idea what you're missing out on.And that infant that you've abandoned,may very well be the next Steve Biko...and it will be too late to ammend.

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