Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual; it comes with a mother.

The love of a mother is enduring. Without the nurturing figures we regard as mothers—biological mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, sisters, aunts, and guardians—where and who would we be? They provide us with support, stability, and encouragement and help us realise our greatest potential at different stages of our lives.

In the spirit of this year’s Mother’s Day and celebration of all mothers, it is fitting to focus on the invaluable guidance and warnings mothers impart.

Mothers are indeed the best advisors; they speak with honesty and directness. Though we may not always recognise it at the time, I assure you that at some point in your life, you will reflect and say, “Wow, my mom was right!” Since entering adulthood, I’ve had numerous such moments—I’m hesitant to admit it, haha!

Upon writing this blog, I entered my mom’s (49) home office (her bedroom), where I asked her to spare some time for a heart-to-heart conversation over a cup of Rooibos tea alongside my maternal grandmother (75). We discussed the lessons my mom instilled in me, some of which I found annoying initially, along with the wisdom passed down through generations.

Here are ten invaluable pieces of advice from my mom and those who came before her:

“Believe in yourself. You are smart.”
Believing in oneself and one’s capabilities will take you to places you never imagined and help you achieve all your life goals.

“Always do what’s best for you.”
Putting your needs above anyone else’s will make you happier than ever. This is your life, no one else’s.

“Be selfish with your time.”
Knowing how and when to do this is essential. Your time belongs to you.

“Friends will come and go.”
The friends you had when you were younger or even when you got older might not remain friends for life. People outgrow each other, and you require different things at different stages of life.

“You won’t find ‘the one’ by merely meeting one.”
Meeting the person who will love you and the person you will love is not a fly-by-night thing. It takes time and discernment.

“It’s not the end of the world.”
Things change, but there’s always a new day for something different to happen. It may feel like the world is ending, but trust me, it is not.

“Complete your education; it will open doors for you.”
Immersing oneself in one’s studies is the best thing to do. It serves as a key to everything one wants to do.

“Never lose faith in God.”
Having faith and believing that what’s to come will be bigger and better than now will fill you with fulfilment and keep you going.

“You’ll understand the value of money as you grow older.”
The value of money becomes more significant as you grow older. You will learn that you need to save and spend it responsibly.

As your mom, I will always have your back.”
Mom will always be there, no matter what.

Through her wisdom, my mother has played a pivotal role in shaping who I am today. Everything I do is a testament to her influence and guidance.

What does your mother know best? In honour of Mother’s Day, the Fundza Literacy Trust team invites you to share moments when your mother gave you great advice.