In my lifetime and travels across sunny South Africa, I have met many single young mothers.
I have talked, dined with and befriended quite a number of these young women.
In my opinion, there are two kinds of single mothers.
The first kind is the mother who has decided to do something positive about the circumstances she finds herself in. The second is the mother who lets herself be controlled by her circumstances.
The latter refers to the mothers who permit circumstances to use, abuse and misuse them through mostly nocturnal unmentionable acts – for temporary and not so useful gains, including rubble that is supposed to be disposed of.
Their children are burning in shacks, die of heatstroke or are left with siblings younger than five years old while their mother is out somewhere. Yes, it is happening.
Are they in the minority or majority? It is for you to ascertain.
Look around your own neighbourhood, listen to what is being discussed by most of the young single mothers and make your own decision.
I say shame – not on the young mothers, but on those locals and foreign nationals taking advantage of their situation.
Let me focus on the first category of women; those who have taken a stand and decided that they will not allow poverty, hunger, competition, unemployment, greed, need, frustration, fashion trends or desperation to guide their lives.
Women who say: “We are daughters of this land and we are not going to be turned into cheap, over-used, public ploughing fields everyone can use to till the soil that is going to produce no crops. We are not descendants of weaklings.
“Our grandmothers and ancestors used their blood to free this land for us to reap the benefits, not to be used, abused and misused by anyone.”
Young mothers who know that having a child is not and has never been considered the end of your existence. These are young single mothers who have accepted and embraced the situation they find themselves in, whether by choice or not.
They are going to be there for their children.
They have gone up and down the streets of our towns and cities in search of employment.
The type of job doesn’t matter, because they earn their living honestly. Young mothers surf the net, enrol for short courses, access bursaries and study for careers of their choice.
Yes, it is happening. Their children can walk tall and be proud of their mothers. These are women who have claimed their dignity and value back.
To all young single mothers, always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.
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