I was born Oesi Morehi Sebusang in Pilikwe. In fact Ntate says it should be Oesimorehi. That is what he called me. But the people who were sent to register me for standard one agreed with the teachers that Oesimorehi was too long – and would be tough for a standard one to write. Ah, these guys underestimated me!
So they chopped my name and kept quiet, no confessions to Ntate on their return. The truth was only revealed at the end of the term when Ntate opened my school report. Uhu!
But why did you call me Oesimorehi? I would ask years later.
“You see, you only have one brother. Your mother and I had one girl after another. So then I thought, the power behind giving us children must be one – and that power was giving us the same sex. Oesi means ‘one’ and Morehi is ‘provider’. Thus we only have one provider”.
That’s how deep Ntate is.
No. I’m not an only child. My name is deeper than all the other Oesi(s) you know – and I’m not an only girl. It is my brother, Sebusang Enele Sebusang who is one – and the name has nothing to do with his being the sole brother among 6 girls. It’s much deeper than that.
Pilikwe people are deep
On this day, I remember mothers.
Our bodies are permanent reminders that we are co-creators with God. What an honour.
I throw back to our times of carrying a life in our bodies, a growing life that stretched and tore apart muscles and skins. Leaving in its wake, for some, broken skins and ripped apart muscles.
Throw back with me, mothers, to the fragile emotions, and sweet tenderness that grew in our hearts, as the life we carried tested the elasticity of our structures. It needed to be comfortable you know, to come out intact.
I throw back to the intensity of labour pains, to the actual delivery, at times after hours of agonising pain.
I throw back to the tears of relieve and of joy as we held the life that would forever alter our outlook. The life that makes us see every child. That makes us much more aware and even concerned about what goes on around us.
Let’s throw back and agree that we aren’t able to look away from a suffering child.
In pain we bore you children, we love you with our lives. Anything that touches you touches the apple of our eyes.
I salute you mothers. Our bodies tell stories of resilient and of overwhelming peace.