Its 7 am in the morning, the sun is shining so beautiful and bright, birds chirping. I can hear the cars hooting and children playing outside.

“Simamkele Mbambo, how many times must I call you?!”

I quickly jump out of my bed and grab my gown while rushing to the kitchen before my dragon mother kills me.

“A girl doesn’t sleep until this time, what kind of woman are you going to be?”

Yep, that’s my life, always being lectured about how a woman is supposed to behave, talk and walk.

“Remember an earliest bird catches the fattest worm.”

Well that is true.

I know she shouts a lot but she only wants the best for me. She wants me to be independent and learn to do things on my own so that I can know my weaknesses and strengths.

“Mtanam there is no one in the world that will love you like your parents. I may sound harsh, shout and get angry but it is only because I want the best for you,” she says, tears rolling down her face. I can see the sadness and hurt. Immediately I know that something is wrong.

“What is wrong mama?” My voice is shaking then immediately I feel a stabbing pain in my heart; my stomach suddenly feels shallow.

“My daughter I will not be around forever, you are still young and there is a lot to learn as a woman because life is like a roller coaster, sometimes it’s all rainbows and flowers then suddenly there is a storm and everything is grey.”

With my heart pounding so fast, I know I will not like what she is about to tell me. My mother is as strong as an ox but we are human beings at the end of the day and there are two things that human beings cannot control – time and death.

“It’s a nice weather outside, come let’s go and sit on the grass. I made some snacks and juice.”

Yes finally! Now she is talking. All this deep emotional talk is making me thirsty.

We are laying head to head on the grass with our faces looking up at the beautiful blue sky. I close my eyes and grasp the moment.

I suddenly feel warmth on my right shoulder; the kind of warmth that brings love and tickles my stomach.

“I wish that God will make all your dreams come true, give you strength and happiness but most importantly learn to forgive yourself and never lose yourself because of another person, stand your ground and fight.”

After these heartfelt words, I can hear her taking her last breath as she dies right beside me. Tears roll down my face. I look at her face and she looks happy and free. She looks like she asked God for this moment.

I pray to God to never forget this moment and cherish the good moments only.

So now I wake up early every morning and prepare for my day. I work hard and put extra effort into everything I do.

I love myself and work on my weaknesses. When I walk inside a room I do not blend in, I stand out.

My self-confidence is like fireworks

I am as brave as a lion and bold as brass.

My mother’s wish did come true.