Pearl Osa is a wannabe Mrs South Africa, a published author, runs a YouTube channel, offers personal life coaching and mentors parents on home-schooling through social media. The 42-year-old mom certainly has a lot on her plate – but her most important job, she says, is being a mom to her 11 children.
If people criticise her for having so many kids, she tells them to watch out – she won’t allow any negativity to be directed her way.
“My kids are my blessing,” she says. “I call them my 11 reasons to succeed.”
Pearl and her husband, John, who’s a pastor and musican, are just one kid short of a dozen. Their children range between the ages of 16 years and 7 months and life is full on in this family.
A typical day in the Osa household in Parktown, Johannebsurg, starts bright and early at 5.30. First the children have their daily devotions until 6am, then it’s time for bathing and chores.
Pearl home-schools her kids and classes start at 7.30am and end at 2.30pm before they’re allowed some free time. “I plan quite meticulously and live seasonally,” she says.
“In the seasons of downtime, I create structures which will cushion my children when the busy seasons come. I also train them for independence so they really can do quite a lot by themselves.”
No one would blame her for hiring someone to help her with the kids but finding someone who will fit into their large family is daunting, she says.
Instead, the kids all have chores while she supervises them. “I also have great support from my husband, he’s a very hands-on dad. My mom also came to stay for a while and help after I had my last baby,” says Pearl, who made it to the top 25 of the Mrs South Africa pageant.
She didn’t know she was pregnant when she entered the pageant last year, but she found the experience rewarding.
“Not only did I have lockdown to contend with, but there was the full-time job of home-schooling my children and nurturing the 11th life in my womb,” she says.
“I learnt that if I could make it under those conditions, then very little else could faze me. More importantly, others could look at this story and know that they too could dream, start or try again.”
As much as she loves her large family, Pearl and her husband aren’t planning more children for now, but are looking to move to a farm so their kids can have more space. A self-proclaimed mompreneur (a business owner who balances the roles of mother and entrepreneur), Pearl is also keen for the kids to learn new skills in the agricultural sector. Seems no task is too daunting for this super-mom.