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EDITORIAL | A mother holds the knife by the blade, indeed


EDITORIAL | A mother holds the knife by the blade, indeed

Mother’s Day is the one day in the year we should press pause to appreciate the mothers in our nation where life is not always easy


The Sunday Times recently published an article by Panashe Chigumadzi on Charlotte Maxeke, titled, “Our debt to Charlotte Maxeke: 150 years after her birth, she’s still our mother”. She is celebrated as a mother figure to the struggle, one of the highest compliments one can attribute to a woman. 

Chigumadzi cites several mother idioms in the piece. She also talks about Reshoketswe Mosuwe, the president of the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS), known as the “manyano”. Chigumadzi writes: “Across Southern Africa, amaManyano, the ‘mothers’ unions’ of our churches, are one of our most important social institutions. It is here that our mothers hold us up for prayer. It is here that our mothers hold each other. It is here that our mothers cry. It is here that our mothers find school fees for us when they are short. It is here that our mothers arrange which of our sick to visit. It is here that our society is organised.”

It is hard to improve on her description of mothers’ role not only in families but in society. She also speaks of the distinctive “missionary uniform”, a leopard-skin hat, black gown, white sash and African Methodist Episcopal (AME) badge. The leopard skin symbolises that “as a woman, as a mother, you have to be fierce”...

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