Beautiful People Part V | #MyFridayStory No. 136

Beautiful People Part V | #MyFridayStory No. 136

Some ‘family’ comes to us in ways we could never have imagined.

How to ‘abba’ a baby

My parents had a live-in maid that had a hand in raising all four of us kids. She loved us as her own. When each of us was still a baby, she would carry us on her back – called abba – when she walked to the shops. ‘Abba’ is the South African term to describe a mother carrying her baby on her back. (See image) She lived with us until she retired and moved back to her homeland, to be with her family.

Her role in my life can never be overestimated and for the sacrifices, she made for our family.

When my Son was born, we had an elderly live-in maid. Her love for our little family was unquestionable. She too played a pivotal role in my Son’s early years as a baby. She stayed with us until my Daughter was born, helping my ex-wife with both kids. When we moved to a new home without maids-quarters, she decided to retire and move back to her homeland, to be with her family.

Her role in our lives has left an impression for life.

We hired a part-time maid when we moved to our new home. She would come to our apartment a few times a week. My young toddler children quickly grew to love her, as did my ex-wife and I. She stayed working with our family for many years, helping raise my kids. In 2004, a year before I got divorced, she asked if she could stop working for us as she had found a full-time position.

She introduced us to her cousin, who took over the position.

We became friends from the minute we met. Her cheerful demeanour was contagious, she always had a wide smile to greet you. She carried a Bible that she read whenever she had a chance. She had a vigour for life and love the radiated from her presence. She was smart and well-read, with strong opinions, values, and principles. She had young children of her own living with her in the township. My children were loved as much as her own.

At some stage over the last 16 years, my Daughter started calling her, Wena.’

It comes from the isiZulu/isiXhosa language, pronounced Weh-nah, meaning, ‘You.’ However, it is often used to express anger. For example, suka wena is an expression of dismissal or rejection or a way of saying ‘Go away!’ My Daughter’s use was as a term of endearment.

Similarly, at some stage, ‘Wena’ started calling me, ‘Dad.’

Wena has been with me through challenges and highlights. She’s watched my children as they progressed through primary school and high school. She has been there through my addiction, my divorce, my rehabilitation, and the passing of my Mother. She has helped me rise from all that and so much more.

She has never wavered once as my friend.

For a short while, before my mother went into frail care, Wena cleaned her little cottage. I would visit my Mother and she would tell me stories of how they would sit and drink tea and share Bible stories. Her visits to my Mother became a highlight for them both and they grew to love one another dearly.

I took Wena to see my Mother one last time before she passed. I thought my Mother would not be completely sure of who she was, but my Mother called Wena closer and whispered, ‘Please give me a kiss.’

That tender moment as they kissed will live with me forever.

Can you imagine having so many beautiful people in your life?

The woman talking at the beginning of this Music Video entitled ‘Wena’ by Anatii is loosely translated as:

“We need men who have manners, who can be trusted, who are down to earth and honest so that the nation can praise them and make them their heroes, even for the coming generations, that’s what Africans want and cry for, Men who can love them and protect them.”


Have an awesome weekend, stay safe! 😄

As always, thanks for reading 🙏

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