Women's Day storytelling
Posted on August 07 2020
It is Women’s Month in South Africa, and with part of my team being based there I thought we would share a true story of empowerment and resilience from our wonderful Tabita and her mother. Tabita works in our Cape Town Watershed store and workshop and was brought up in the townships, her mother Nomboniso Gladys Sotashe was born to a family of 7 siblings with an abusive father. Her mother had a tough upbringing unable to finish school and pregnant with her first child at 20. Four years later she met and married a widowed man with 8 children and they began to carve out a life for themselves. Being a stepmother to the older children was a challenge but Nomboniso Gladys never gave up. They also shared a child between them, named Nomfesane meaning Merciful aka our lovely Tabita.
Life was tough for their family, her mother was employed as a domestic worker while her father ran a spaza shop (tuckshop) but then later worked as a gardener. Regardless of their employment they made sure their children needs were met while receiving a basic education. As Tabita grew into a young women her parents began fostering orphans, she learnt how to make a real difference in someones else life by giving them a chance at a family environment. Both Nomboniso Gladys and her daughter Tabita have a very protective strength and a giving heart and have always look out for those who are in need. Nomboniso Gladys grew up with more than just her siblings around because her mother (Tabita's grandmother) would never pass up an orphan. She took in many abled and disabled children.
Tabita, now all grown up, fosters a young HIV positive girl Nwabisa (meaning Bringer of Joy), as a toddler she was dropped off at an orphanage in Khayelitsha (a township in Cape Town) after she lost both her parents to AIDS. Tabita and her mother were discouraged by social and care workers and told not to get attached in the beginning as children with HIV often have health complications and Nwabisa arrived with asthma. Fast forward a decade and Nwabisa is 14 years old, having been a part of the Sotashe family since she was a year and a half! Since the end of last year (2019) Nwabisa has been living with Tabita and her husband, in the hopes that life outside of the township will give her a better chance.
Nomboniso Gladys and Tabita continue supporting communities in Cape Town such as Harare in Khayelitsha, Masi and Masiphumelele in Fishhoek with food and clothes. They giveback with their own funds, collected clothes and vegetables grown in their gardens.
Their combined dream is to create an orphanage where children feel safe and are part of one big family. May this story inspire you to giveback and start supporting your community.
Happy Women's Month to all the powerful, caring and driven women in the world.
P.S: This month we are celebrating GREEN; the colour of renewal, fertility, abundance and more. Shop our collection here.