26 September 2017

I wore one pair of shoes for two years

After losing her father at the age of nine, Matsie became a sullen and angry child who locked herself in the bathroom for hours to avoid talking to her older sister.

She was also angry with God because she believed that if He existed, her father would still be alive.

"I was the closest to my father and he provided everything I needed. When he passed away, I couldn’t understand why God had allowed such a painful thing to befall us. My mother, a domestic worker, battled to provide for all of us because she didn’t earn much money. I wore one pair of shoes for two years because my mother could not afford to buy us most of the things we needed.

My older sister took care of us when my mother was at work. I sometimes refused to be corrected by her as I thought she was a child, just like me. I was always sad and missed the warmth of having my parents around.  We sometimes ate pap and cabbage the whole week because that’s all we had," she said.

At the age of 15, Matsie locked herself in the bathroom each time she had a fight with her older sister.

 "Once she beat me up and I didn’t speak to her for over a month," she said.

Her life only changed after she came to the Universal Church and learned how to use her faith to change her situation. "I did not believe in God and I told myself that if He existed, my father wouldn't have died, but I decided to come to church in 2006 because there was no progress in my life and the anger I harboured was weighing heavily on me. I continued coming because the first time I attended the services, I went home feeling at peace and much lighter. I learned to appreciate my sister's efforts because she took care of us when my mother was at work.

I respected her and we no longer fought. I healed from the pain of losing my father. I did well in my studies and I became the first person to pass matric at home. I then registered for a two-year hospitality and catering course and later found a job. In 2008, I met Thabo and we were married a year later.

I now understand the sacrifices that my mother had to make because I have my own family.

I'm no longer angry and sullen because I have the presence of God in me,"said Matsie.

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