We often hear people referring to beauty and the brains. What comes to my mind over and above this when I think of or see this phenomenal Woman and mother is beauty and strength. She to me is the epitome of elegant strength, resilience and soulfulness.
When I first met Nosie as she is fondly called by many who like me have been touched by her life, she was singing and it was as tough she was singing to me. It was an instant soul connection because of how she can navigate through the one's spiritual pathways with her voice and aura.
I asked Nosie to share her journey and experience as a mother to her beautiful boys on this platform and she did more than that, she put pen to paper and drew with words a piece of her soul like she does with her music...to give an intro would be dis-service to you and displacement of a masterpiece...
Below is Inkosazana Nosiphiwo Nosie Dyantyi Mwanda's journey in motherhood in her own words...
Motherhood… such a beautiful and challenging journey it has been.
I first became a mother when I was 17, and that changed my life. Like many South African black girls, my then boyfriend chose to run to the hills and I was left dealing the shame of being sexually active at such a young age while I was a Pastor’s Kid and well-known for singing at church. As if that was not enough, many parents started distancing their daughters from me because “ndizobafundisa amakhwenkwe”. I became lonely because all of a sudden no one wanted to be close to me because I was an embarrassment to the church, my family and my community and I was ex-communicated from church because it was a sin and a disgrace to have a pregnant 16 year old coming to church, so I had to sit at home alone while everyone else attended church services which was almost everyday. No one knew what eventually led me to allowing my then boyfriend to have sex with me and no one was interested. All what people focused on was how much I had disgraced my parents.
Allow me take you through what was happening in my 16 year old mind at that time. I had been dealing with the shame of having been raped by a cousin when I was six years old, so unlike all the girls my age I was no longer a virgin and it was never my choice to lose my virginity at six but a man older than me violated me and made me feel like it was my fault. Growing up at church where virginity was glorified, I constantly felt like life had not been fair on me because there I was, 16 and not a virgin because some monster failed to control his sexual urges and violated a young defenseless girl. So when my then boyfriend wanted us to “strengthen our relationship” by having sex I was like why not? Because I have already lost my virginity, so what am I holding on to anyway? So I gave myself to him and I joined the statistics of the South African Teenage Mothers.
I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy who looked like his father and though I hated the fact that he looked like him, part of me was happy because now everyone would know that I was not accusing him of having impregnated me. I named him Kwakhanya and my Mom named him Samkelo. He is now 19 and such a beautiful human being, very protective and loving. I never really felt like I was his mother because my Mom took up the role of being his mother since I was still in High School and still needed to be mothered myself. He grew up knowing that I was his mother but referred to me as “Nana” or “Nosie” and my Mom was “Mama” to both of us.
At age 30 I fell pregnant with my second born u Lizalise and God had blessed me with a man who wanted to be a present father in his child’s life so he took full responsibility. We were already planning on getting married but the pregnancy came sooner that we had expected, so because we both wanted our child to grow up in front of both of us we had to speed up the process of getting married. My Husband, then Fiancé went and told my Dad that I was pregnant and he was taking responsibility and in the process asking him to release me sooner than we had planned. Needless to say that my Dad was impressed by his soon to be Son in Law for taking responsibility, he gave us his blessings to get married. We did not have much because I was unemployed and my Hubby was not earning much but we tried to create a warm home for our kids. Watching him being a father made it easy for me to be a mother because I knew I had a partner in this parenting journey. For the first time I was not ashamed of the fact that I was a mother and I realized how much I enjoyed being a mother to both my boys.
I finally got a job and my Husband was always working in the Eastern Cape on some projects, so I had to juggle being a Mother and my career. It was hard but the fulfillment it brought to me could not be measured.
When my 2nd born was three years old I had three miscarriages which resulted to me being depressed. Look that killed me, I do not think as eloquent as people think I am that I could be able to put to words the kind of pain I felt every time I lost a baby in the first trimester. Nothing prepares you for that kind of a loss…when you survive it everyone is quick to tell you how strong you are and how tough you must be. But actually, no one has a choice to survive grief…it’s not optional. You just have to cry yourself to sleep, sob in your pillow and pray you will make it. You question your worth as a woman and a mother but you continue to live your life because you have other kids to be strong for so you sort of force yourself to be okay.
When our last born u Simvuyele was born I was scared of not being able to carry him to term so I was constantly sad and sick because I was emotionally a mess. I went through so much during that pregnancy than I care to remember but God saw me through it all and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 3,7 kg.
God had once again trusted me with a life of another baby boy and such a blessing that was. Motherhood taught me so much about myself; it taught me that it is possible to love another human being to a point of being willing to die for them. When I look at my boys it’s like I am looking at my heart divided into three and living in human form. They are what I live for, I constantly strive to be a better version of myself because of them, I pray for them more than I’ve ever prayed for anyone…they are proof to me that God loves me (and this is not to assume nor imply that God does not love the woman who cannot have children) and they are my ultimate blessing.
Two months ago the unthinkable happened; I lost my Husband in a tragic way (story for another day). When I went to see his body all I kept asking him (well his lifeless body) was “ndizothini ebantwaneni xa bekufuna Yiba?”… How do I explain to them that you are never coming back? How do I continue parenting them without you? It was painful that I had lost a life partner, it still is, but I cried for my kids more than I cried for myself, I cried for my children’s loss more than I cried for my own loss. During this journey of grieving I have to constantly remind myself that it is okay to breakdown and not act strong for the sake of my kids. It still feels like he will just rock up and say it was all a joke but in all that, I am grateful to God for my little humans because I have people who remind me constantly of the love I shared with their father.
I have just realized that it’s easy to go off the topic when talking about Motherhood because many things contribute to your journey as a Mother. One of the things that Motherhood has taught me is that we never really understand the depth of a parent’s love until we ourselves become parents. Another important lesson for me throughout this journey of Motherhood is that children shouldn’t have to sacrifice so that you can have the life you want; you make sacrifices so your children can have the life that they deserve. Unfortunately there is no manual for Motherhood but we learn as we go and we continue trusting God for guidance and we learn to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and pick ourselves up and try again. Motherhood is a blessing and comes with a lot of responsibility because in your hands lies the power to build or ruin another human beings life through how you bring them up and the values you instill on them. I have also learnt through this journey of Motherhood that you need to make time to take care of yourself, be kind to yourself, love and appreciate yourself, never ignore yourself just because you gotta take care of the kids…no take care of yourself because you can never be able to fully be there for your kids if there are parts of you that are neglected. You can never be able to give what you do not have, so love yourself, allow yourself to be loved so that you can be able to give love to your children Mommy! I salute all the mothers out there and I just want to let you know that you are enough, you are worth everything beautiful, you are a gem… and if you realize that you have not being the Mother that you should be, forgive yourself and try again, you are human after all and no one said Motherhood will be a breeze especially if you are mothering more than one child because you have a responsibility to study all your kids and come up with ways of raising them as unique individuals without breaking them and on top of all that you still have your own life to live. So look at yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself for sticking it out and for having such a big heart…Salute Qhawekazi!!!
I myself am battling with Depression, dealing with the loss of a Life Partner, being accused of killing my Husband, being unemployed, trying to find my voice as a Black Independent Woman in a Patriarchal Society, battling with questions of serving and worshipping a God who seems to keep quite right at those moments when I need to hear Him, to see Him fighting for me, having so many questions about Christianity which has been part of my whole life and risking being called names by NOT KEEPING QUIET, amongst other things, but I am here and I am grateful to my family and my friends for parenting these kids with me, they have taught me the importance of being able to receive help and they have opened my eyes to the reality that being a “Super Mom” does not in any way mean you do not need help and are immune to getting tired and drained but that it is humanly okay to say “I need help” and when help is offered, allow yourself to accept it without feeling guilty. Ku Rough bafazi and it is more difficult in this world for women but we are here… so once again… Salute Qhawekazi!!!
I am INkosazana Nosiphiwo Nosie Dyantyi-Mwanda
Musician, Public Speaker, Feminist, Motivational Speaker, Sister and a MOTHER
Mommy-ing in the City!