The Girl Who Survived Her Mother By Moshitadi Lehlomela

by BabyYumYum
The Girl Who Survived Her Mother By Moshitadi Lehlomela

This is a powerful book that delves deep into the author’s life growing up in a typical South African black home, where love and recognition from her parents, especially her mother, was absent. This book is a moving account of Moshitadi’s journey to find self-acceptance and healing amidst adversity.

What sets the story apart is Moshitadi’s constant honesty. She doesn’t hold back in sharing the painful and sometimes harrowing moments of her upbringing. Like how she was expected to raise her other siblings without question. And how she was forced into initiation without any knowledge and discussion. Most heart breaking is that as a child from a village, she was bullied and declined her right to play and enjoy her childhood. Punishment in our black families was a norm and it’s incredulous how parents still think that it’s the only way to deal with children.

One of the central themes of the book is the complex relationship between Moshitadi and her mother and her grandmother (So this is a generational thing). The way Moshitadi explores the depths of her mother’s neglect and lack of love is heart-wrenching. Her ability to convey the confusion, sadness, and longing she felt as a child will resonate with anyone who has experienced similar struggles.

We read about Moshitadi’s transformation as she navigates the challenges of her childhood. She eventually finds her own path to self-love and healing, but that comes at a price of losing her family and making the difficult  decision that to heal she needs to keep the distance from her mother and accept that her mother will never see her the way she sees herself.

Her leaving her family is seen as taboo, disobedience, disrespect in black families as we are always taught that you have to stick together no matter how tough the situation is.

The author also provides valuable insights into the cultural and societal context of South Africa. Her ability to balance the personal with the cultural makes the book not only a compelling read but also an account of most black childhoods . Love the fact that she also points out on the Black Tax.  From what we have experienced and how we were raised, this is a story of survival, resiliency, and finally, the victory of the human spirit.

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