Conversations with my mother

Wadeisor Rukato (22)

“My mom would never allow us to go to sleep over at a friend’s place all willy nilly. She would always ask ,what do they have that you don’t have in your own home” – Wadeisor

I strongly believe that the types of relationships we have with our parents mold us into the kind of people we essentially turn into. It makes perfect sense that the lessons learnt from our parents are strong foundations for the values we choose to carry through into our adult lives.

I’d also like to believe that as women the lessons we learnt from our mothers carry strong weight with regards to the decisions we make in life,whether it be in love, career and even our perceptions about basic humanity.

So it is no surprise to me, that Wadeisor’s personal relationship with her mother, has influenced a lot of her choices as a young adult. I hope her relationship with her mother inspires more of us to share our experiences about our mother’s and essentially learn to evolve into mindful women and mothers.  Her story is as follows,

“My mother grew up in an area called Ndanga from a village called Kwacharuka in Zimbabwe , where she was the youngest of six children. They lived a basic village life, they would sometimes get water from the river, cook on a fire,and sometimes wash in the river.

My mother lived through the Zimbabwean civil war ,which was fought in the 1970’s a lot of the war was fought in the rural areas because the rebels were from the rural area, she was thankfully raised by a strong mother who moved her to Bulawayo at eleven to live with my uncle as she felt it was not ideal for a young girl to grow up in a rural area.This is where she had her first interaction with white people at an Urban school , she worked very hard as she cooked and cleaned for my uncle ,went to school and read a lot.

She than got married to my father and had my sister at a young age, and given times we live in now the chances of  a woman getting pregnant at twenty three and married to still be successful are a bit limited. My parents than moved to South Africa ,in Hillbrow (1995 Hillbrow) with two kids, she still carried on with her education doing her masters and still worked by the age of thirty after giving birth to my brother she had obtained her PHD .

Even through the difficulties of being in a foreign country she worked hard and as a result traveled a lot while we were still young. She understood that in order for her children to have a good education, sacrifices had to made.

A lot of the time we would claim we were raised in a broken family because on the one hand our parents were divorced and on the other our mother wasn’t around. However she would remind us that we have an ideal family in the sense that we had food, we were going to school and we were happy.
This taught me to mentally challenge conventions ,and to learn to create my own standards of happiness, success and stability.

When I was thirteen she moved the family to Sandton, we were finally living in the surburbs and through us moving she consistently promoted the mentally of progress. We’ve perceived her as strict , for instance my mom would never allow us to go to sleepovers all willy nilly ,she would always ask ,”what do they have that you don’t have in your own home?,why don’t you invite them over?”
I think her convictions had to do with her experiences with various relationships but also that the best people that you would want around you are those one can allow into their spaces openly. Being satisfied with what you have and letting people share in that. Buying popcorn was also not a norm when we went to the movies ,we had to eat before we left the house. I think later I learned that the lesson was to be fine with whatever I have, you don’t always need to do what everyone else is doing and experiences aren’t always ruined if they don’t go the way you imagined them.

My mom inspired the type of environment I wanted to work in, she worked in the policy development environment and she’s recently went back to Zim to contribute in terms of business and entrepreneurship, unfortunately its always assumed that a women is success in the policy development field because she’s sleeping with someone ,that she used “unconventional” ways. I’ve watched her in spaces where she was the only woman amongst men and she stood her ground, she speaks like she Is anyone , like someone who deserves to be at the table.

I was very lucky to have the kind of mother I could talk to in terms of sex, I found that when I had stopped trying to hide the fact that I wanted to have sex ,and started to have conversations with my mother I came out more informed, equipped and empowered. I believe where possible, we really need to understand that out mothers have experienced a lot of the things that we have and we need to enable them to take on the challenges of talking about topics people regard as sensitive such as sex.

I’m a lot more open minded in terms of people I find attractive from both sexes , I don’t necessarily consider the physical as sexy, I suppose when I was thirteen that was my perspective but for me now ,sexy is an acquired confidence ,knowing and accepting you have the body that you have. I also find intelligence, respect, curiosity , and intimate conversations to be very attractive. For me sexy is defined by those intimate conversations, someone who just gets the blood boiling.


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