I’m from Zimbabwe originally but I’ve lived in South Africa since I was 12. I moved with my mom just after she divorced my dad.
My mom is my hero, she’s my everything. She came from a very abusive marriage and she escaped when she was about to lose everything. My dad was ready to kill everyone. I grew up seeing that and she protected me from it.
Every time I see her, I feel so inspired that she decided to take me and just run away. I’m so grateful for that. I remember when we left, she asked me: “Do you want to stay with me or you dad?” I told her: “With you, of course. Why are you asking me?”
The next day is when we took our bags. She told me we were going on holiday. Since then, I haven’t seen my dad.
I always used to ask her when I would see him. I used to love him. At the time, I didn’t see anything wrong with how he was. She used to tell me he would come soon. Now that I’m older, I still want to see him. There’s a thing inside me that tells me I have to see my dad, I have to talk to him and see what went wrong. I don’t know when I will be ready.
I’ve seen how my mom suffered with me. It’s not easy being a divorcée in a new country with a child. She worked two jobs to get me to school. She was a domestic worker and a night nurse. I went to a nice private school because she worked so hard for me.
Now I’m a mom, too. From my own mother, I’ve learned to protect my daughter no matter what. — Caroline Magada (24) as told to Ra’eesa Pather