Mama Sheila Mbele-Khama
The year 2014 if I am not mistaken marks the turning point of my life in a very subtle manner. I am not sure about the exact year but it has been well over three years. It was in this year (2017) that I was blessed beyond my imagination even though it was not that obvious at the time.
I had been going around like any other person on this earth maybe soul searching if I may so put it. If I were to say this I would be thumb sucking so I saw it best to put it on black and white. I remember arriving at the studio on what seemed like a normal day and daily routine. I walked in and saw you and abonyankwabe for the first time but I never really anticipated anything.
I had heard one of your songs before and the name Gogo Sheila from the East rand and that is all I knew. Uyabuy’umoya reminds me of this day every time I hear it as it was the very first song we worked on together little did I know that there would be other songs. Anyway, enough about that. Let me try to get to the point.
I would like to fast forward to the day of the induction when I saw you again after a long time and to the day I came in Ephehlweni. I was so clueless about a lot of things because I had been caught up in my own things and dealing with whatever it is that I was dealing with. I remember being in a state where I couldn’t make a final decision concerning iphehlo because I had concluded that I’m not pursuing the calling. I remember how I handed over the ropes to you and mom to make the decision for me and tell me what to do. Oh how messed up was I!
The 6th of November 2016 came and you opened up your home for me to find healing. For me it was just about answering to the call of the ancestors just to ensure that my loved ones are alright and happy but never expected things to turn out the way they did. I never expected to be mothered by my Gobela but that’s what ended up happening. Not only did you accept me as ithwasa but you also took me in as your own child. You took it upon yourself to take care of me and my needs. You literally stepped up to the plate and took responsibility of my life.
I never thought being ephehlweni would be so lonely amongst many other things that it could possibly be but you ensured that for all this time I don’t long for a mother’s love. You have done so much for me and also became a friend. You didn’t have to, but you did. I get overwhelmed just thinking about it. You made sure that I never go hungry. You made sure that I am warm and have all the essentials that a girl needs.
I remember when you said you didn’t understand why we had to be initiated at the same time as twins. And you said “I am going through pain with you guys”. At the time it had not crossed my mind what this pain was but today I know. You said you have always wanted to have twins of your own but never got them. Maybe we are the twins that you’ve always wanted. When I look back at how far we have come I get goose bumps all over my body because it is too good to be true, this love, this thing we have going. So ideal.
I remember that one particular night I got sick. I was in so much pain and was scared to death but when I came to you it was almost as if you had been my mother forever. You kept so calm and held me and no matter how scary the situation was, you never even for a minute showed me that you were scared as well. You sat by me until you were sure that I was calm and I think you uttered something like “it’s ok, I am your Mother”.
To this day you have never ceased to be a Mother.
I remember when you said you want to see me at my best and at my worst and I truly feel like of recent you have been seeing me at my worst. I want you to know that I see what you don’t want me to see. I see how much you are fighting for my life. I see how you are fighting to keep me alive and I see how that impacts on your health.
Because you care too much. Motsogapele o buile are mmangwana o tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like for you having to deal with a self-hurter every day of your life when you never had to live like that before. I cannot begin to imagine what hell it must be to live with a person who is a danger to themselves. People have addictions but I’m not sure that you have dealt with one that is addicted to inflicting pain to themselves.
You are really not obliged to put up with this kind of bull sh** but you still do and even in the midst of it all, you still choose to see the best in me. I don’t know how many times I keep saying that I don’t want this and how many times I have said I want to go home but you keep on keeping on. I remember the first time I said that, oh what hell you gave me! You are the one person that can tell when I have done……. you know. You are the one person that can reach through to my spirit and pick up where I am it is just so twisted how your mind works. I think you are one crazy person you sweet thing!
You challenge me every day to be the best I can be and even though I haven’t reached my full potential, I am good with you by my side. I have given up on myself but you never left me. Lately I feel the distance between us and know that things will never be the same and it breaks me every day but I appreciate your presence in my life. It is said that God will never take you into the wilderness to leave nor forsake you. In the midst of my wilderness He made sure that you cross my path. After everything that you have been through in your life, you still smile and laugh even when you are sick.
Through all the trauma and stigma you still carry on teaching and giving selflessly. When I think of the relationship that we have built I get really emotional and girl… you give me butterflies in my stomach. You have done such a great job. I will forever cherish you and carry you in my heart even when I am gone. I would have wanted to say this to you personally but as you know, words fail me. Even though sometimes I’m just a selfish bustard and seem so passive because I avoid expressing myself or because I don’t really know how to, I spend most of my days running from you or hiding from you because you will want to search my soul and that is how much you care. Even when you put on a facade that intimidates me, I still love you.
You have done so much for me and I want you to know that all your sleepless nights do not go unnoticed and there is no way I cannot take notice of your efforts and how you always go the extra mile. I see you mama. I see you and all that you are trying not to show. I feel you and I feel your pain. Your joy and your happiness are my comfort. I love seeing you give that particular smile and then you say “seriously”. That makes you look like a little baby with so much innocence. Let me let you in on a little secret. You melt my heart when you do that but sshhhhh…don’t tell anyone. Indeed we have gone through pain together and we still are.
Never mind uGobela but just allow me the honour to talk to the mother. Mama thank you for accepting me into your home and taking me as your own. Words cannot even begin to describe the humility I feel. I am deeply humbled. Oh and thanks a lot for allowing me to put on my earrings. They make me look so cute even gogo Lephahama says I look like a cute little naughty boy with my hairstyle. And oh just by the way I’m still eagerly waiting to get that nose ring so please pretty please prompt ubaba Gugu to speed up the process I am dying of anticipation. Help a girl out will ya!
But seriously mama I just want to make an emphasis on the love I have for you. I came here and realised that I had been on a treasure hunt for 8yrs and I found you. My treasure. Just the other day we were arguing about that song “I found love when I found you” and I said it was true. I relate to that part of the song because it is so very true in every sense. You are not getting me. Hold up… I feel like you are not feeling me.
Mama I am saying that I love you, do you get that? You loved me even when I didn’t love myself, you still do even to date. I feel that words alone do not do justice to the love I have for you. I love you more than love herself, if it’s a she. I love you to the moon and back, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet and to the depth of my soul, I love you. I love you so much it hurts literally. If you didn’t know now you know. I love you so much I would put my head on the block for you anytime if push comes to shove! My life is not worth living without you here as a mother. If you didn’t know, now you know!
I feel like writing so much because I don’t know what to with myself. The thought of my love for you makes me quiver. It would be wrong for me not to let you know while I still have today because tomorrow is not guaranteed. I will forever cherish the memories we have made as we embarked on this remarkable journey. I will forever hold you close to my heart even when I am gone! Glory be to you my Lolo. Praise be to you, her royal highness! I worship the ground on which you walk my Precious Pearl. I don’t have much. I don’t have silver and gold but I do have mad love for you and I will love you till forever comes.
Her Majesty! Goddess Gonondo ka Sompisi
Mother of the nation!
Mme oa sechaba!
Mosadi oa mmankgonthe!
Mosadi hara basadi!
Kakapa ea mosadi!