I would like to dedicate this to my brothers and sisters in Binga. I would like us to reflect on mothers in Binga. Binga has two generation of mothers. We have our mothers who lived a life very different to the new mothers. These two mothers are so important in our lives but the old one is a strong mother. The old mother in Binga is more wonderful in many senses. She is the mother who never challenged her husband. She is the mother who actually asked her husband, the man she loved, to marry another wife. She is the same mother who would actually choose a new wife for her husband. She will not be remembered for that by her children, but rather for her power to care, for her power to raise her kids in very difficulty environment. She was an explorer, a mother who one day pulled the hands of two children, me and my sister, carrying a busket of mushrooms to sell in Manjolo to make a living. She is the mother who did not realize, she was making me board a bus for the first time until I ran away from the idling bus, but she made sure I was ran after and that was the day when I board it for the first time.
Our mothers raised us against all odds. Fathers were less caring in during that past time than they are today and most of them literally treated their partners as less being, just there to work, make as many kids and raise them, giving the man a name in the community. But each day were mothers in Binga, nursing ill kids, grinding dry roots to give to an ill child and save his life, nursing burns of her child because he or she fell on the fire as she slept by the fire side because the kids did not have enough blankets. Our mothers tore there skirts, set and designed shorts for us because, they wanted us to start school the following term. Our mothers tolerated us, never bothered to have two kids sharing one short when going out to visit, and they never mind us spending a week naked. They never minded having to go for a month bathing with no soap. They never bothered and were not embarrassed having us with distended tummies because of malnutrition. Those are our strong old mothers, most of them are still on the limelight in caring for the orphans our brothers and sisters left.
It’s hard to determine what present such a mother deserves. I know how fellow brothers and sisters are caring for their mothers, and the neighbor mother who family never brought changes in her life, the other mother who never got a child in her life and the sorrowful mother who lost all her children. There is one common thing about our mothers; they never feel indebted by raising us. Even when we are counted among the richest, they ask nothing more than few cents for salt. They never ask for a better pair of shoe than the R5 tommy, no pocket money. They never ask us to hire a car to ferry them to hospitals when they are unwell. Our mothers, are never more expensive than a mere R20 to care for in a months. Yet they have never really felt that they have done enough for us. When we are short of bus fare, they take the little they have, tied as a knot on the edge of their clothe to give us unconditionally and never ask us to pay back. Their value is beyond silver.
Our mother’s joy is in seeing us succeeding in many aspects of life, seeing us in happy marriages, seeing us raising health kids and seeing us visiting them just once in a year.
We have brothers, some more than forty but have still lived under the wing of these wonderful people. We go back to our mothers when we fall seek, when our partners can not handle our health woes, not because they do not love us but because the situation demands extra strength. They ferry us back to become kids again, get our last mother touch when we fail to make it. They ignore our body changes and showers us again, apply Vaseline onto our lips and wash our soiled trousers and underway, take of some of their clothes for us to use before we die. The common thing about these mothers is true motherly love derived from selflessness and unique strength.
There is one common thing about our mothers; they always drive us to success. They strengthen us, make us know that we can do better than what we have done. They never want to keep our history exposed because they still protect our fathers. They take the blame for all the failures of our fathers. If you ask how did they manage to get us where we are, the answer they have is that, its not them, its God and our gods’ love. They are very humble and take the new ideas we tell them, even the hardest ones.
The biggest respect goes to my mother; she is the best person I know alive. Mother, you could have given up on me when I was struggling with kwashiokor, malnutrition, typhoid, you listened to me when I told you, I want to proceed with my education beyond primary school. You listened when I said mom, I can take care of me now, I will go and heard cows to buy my first pair of shoes. I want all mothers including you mom to know that, they are very important in our lives, more important than they think. I also want all friends to know that, these important mothers are easy to pay back; simply make them happy by being focused in your life, show them you learnt more from them than from your father by being a good husband to your wife.