A void left by an absent mother
Celiwe was raised by various women who dated her father. Her mother abandoned Celiwe at her father's work place when she was just a few months old.
"I was Always introduced to a different woman and that confused me. I could not even build a relationship with those women because my father always changed them. Some of his girlfriends ill-treated me and I sometimes had to stay with his girlfriends when he was at work," she said.
Her father, the only parent she knew, passed away when she was 13 years old.
"I then moved in with my aunt, but it was even more painful to live with my aunt’s family because her children always reminded me that I did not belong to their family. They blamed me for everything that went missing in the house. That was when I felt a need to search for my mother," she said.
After three years in her aunt’s house, Celiwe decided start a search for her mother because she believed that finding her mother was going to give her the joy she never had.
“I finally found my mother when I was 16 years old. She was however not pleased to meet me and I felt she did not love me. I was disappointed and heartbroken when I went back to my aunt’s place after spending two nights at my mother’s house. That left me bitter and angry,” said Celiwe.
At the age of 21 she was invited to the Universal Church by a neighbour.
"I attended the church services because I felt my life had never been a normal one and I needed peace. At a service, I understood there was a greater love from God that far exceeded that of parents and I started embracing it. I later found a job. I saw a need to build a relationship with my mother and I started visiting her. We now have a strong mother-daughter relationship. I am also providing for her financially, by choice," said Celiwe.
After seven years in the church, God blessed Celiwe's love life. She married her high school boyfriend in the church and they later had four children.
"I am happily married and my children are growing up in a proper family environment, something I never had as a child. My prayer is to always be the best mother I can be to my children. Forgiveness ushered me to a peaceful life," said Celiwe.