How I used my first paycheck to thank my mom for raising me

(PHOTO:GETTY/GALLO IMAGES)
(PHOTO:GETTY/GALLO IMAGES)

It’s almost every child’s dream to say “thank you” to their parents for all the sacrifices they’ve made for their offspring.

Paida immediately gets emotional as she recalls the day in 2015 when she received her first paycheque.

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“It feels like a million years ago when I got my first paycheque. I remember being in my final year of high school, matric, and I was facing some financial strain in my family. My mom was struggling to put me in a good school and ended up putting me in a very expensive school, but the economy wasn’t doing too well so I decided to get a job”, Paida tells DRUM.

The 23-year-old was determined to change her home situation, but it wasn’t that easy because she was still in school, with no matric certificate to get a job that would help her mom.

“It was difficult for me to get a good job because to get one you need your matric certificate. So, basically, the most that one can do is promotions or any side piece jobs but somehow, by God’s grace, I managed to get a job as someone’s personal assistant," she says.

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“I was an artist’s personal assistant for quite some time, she was a very lovely lady. We worked well together although sometimes she would throw quit a few tantrums, but I learnt so much from her. She took me under her wing despite the fact that I was so inadequate in so many ways, but she trusted in me and saw the potential that I had and she knew my family’s financial situation at that point in time.” 

“I remember getting my very first paycheque. For my age I feel like it was quite a significant amount, till this day I’m still a bit shaken that I was a 17-year-old going on 18 and I had the amount of money that some people get when they first graduate –their entry-level salary.”

Paida says the only thing she could think about when she received her first salary was repaying her mom.

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“The only thing I could think about was to repay my mom, to buy her all the things she had had to sell to put me through school. To take her out and pamper her. Just for one day, only one day, just to show my mom that, ‘I know this isn’t much, and it doesn’t compare to everything you’ve done for me and everything you’ve given me and all that you’ve sacrificed for me, but this is just to show you that as soon as I’m able and capable, there isn’t anything in this world I wouldn’t do for you’,” she explains.

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“So the very first thing I did with my check was take my mom out for seafood because she loves seafood and it’s a bit pricy,” Paida says, giggling. “And I bought her some jewellery because there was a point in time where she was broke and I didn’t have money for transport to school and she went to pawn the jewellery, so I bought her jewellery to replace the ones she had sold and with the rest of the money I helped to pay off my fees.

“I gave my mother the remainder of the money, I remember giving her the remaining money. It was such an amazing feeling. I felt as if I could finally do something for the one woman who’s done the most for me, sacrificed so much for me and who has done it so wholeheartedly, and I could be able to repay the same love she’s given me.”