By Tafadzwa Bandera.
Children of her age in urban areas are used to electricity, television and other forms of entertainment. Some are even on popular social networks like Facebook and WhatsApp but for Thando its waking up everyday at 4am to do household chores and prepare food for her grandfather.
Thando is a 13 year-old- girl , who resides in Hlankomo, Tabankulu, Eastern Cape. She stays with her 80 year-old senile grandfather. Her mother went to Johannesburg and never come back, the father disowned her when she was still in her mother’s womb.
She is doing grade 7, walks barefooted to school which is 15km away from where she resides. As always she gets to school exhausted because of the long journey. Thando’s life is full of predicaments, she can’t even remember the last time she saw her mother. She doesn’t know the meaning of parental love. Her life revolves around donors who assist with food and clothes. Community people are tired of helping and some cannot due to financial constraints or abject poverty that is in the area.
She comes home from school around 5:00pm, instead of resting, she has to fetch water, cook, wash clothes and do the homework. Thando is taking care of her grandfather, who is always sick , sometimes he messes the bed and clothes, at her age the burden is too heavy. What will happen to little Thando, when the grandfather kick the bucket? Where are loving mothers? Can we blame lack of love or kindness on the economy?
Thando deserves the right to live a normal life. She is not facing these obstacles by choice but because of a mother who is heartless and neglected her for the sins that were committed by an irresponsible father.
Children should be every parent’s priority. Destroying their future is destroying the nation at large , above all it leads to our streets being pregnant with homeless people, beggars, thieves, prostitutes and different kind of people who indulge in antisocial behavior all because of negligence by their parents. As a parent what are you doing to shape the future of your kids?
Thando is vulnerable to paedophiles, rapist and many other things. Children need to be loved and wanted by their parents. It gives them confidence and courage to work hard in all aspects of life.
I know it hurts when someone denies to be responsible, but as a mother, you should always strive to provide for your child or children in the absence or presence of the child’s father.
I hope this story is going to change or strengthen you in terms of loving your children. Being there for your kids , protect them from the dangers of this world.