Written by: Admin_SheEvo
My name is Mantoa Takalo, also known as Matseleng, and I grew up in Steynsrus, Free State, South Africa, during the 1990s. My childhood wasn’t all sweetness and light, but it wasn’t marked by extreme deprivation either, for which I am profoundly grateful. Throughout the early years of my life, my grandparents lovingly cared for me while my mother worked in Transvaal.
I started school in 1997, and I always performed well with the love and support of my family. But in 2007, everything abruptly changed when my mom married my stepfather. His presence in our lives added a sense of a complete family. However, on the other end, things turned for the worse when one of my uncles, especially when he was drunk, started to physically abuse me for no reason.
In 2010, I left home to live with my mom, and things got a bit better, but I missed my grandparents. And unfortunately, in 2011, my grandmother suddenly got sick, so I had to go back home and take care of her. She later passed away on January 25, 2013, after two years of battling the illness – may her soul continue to Rest In Peace. Our home felt lost without my grandma, and my grandpa became visibly depressed.
It was the kind of change that no one expected, or prepared for. It seemed like anything that could go wrong went wrong. And from all kinds of grief, we detached from each other, making things even harder to comprehend.
2014 I went to Johannesburg for law studies and finished in 2017. In 2015, my second year of studying law, I found out I had diabetes, and my life was turned upside down quickly, again. A year after that, i.e. 2016, I became pregnant with my first child, and in November of the same year, my partner paid Lobola for me – a traditional symbol for a marriage proposal. In 2017, I gave birth to a beautiful and radiant baby girl, and I named her Kganya because she is my light… it was through her birth that I became hopeful that: after every storm and darkness, there’s indeed LIGHT.
Within the very same year of 2017, I got very sick, and the doctors said I was dying from post-natal complications. But because God’s grace is sufficient, he raised his hand and delivered me from the pits… and here I am healed and blessed. Looking back at all the hardships and pain I’ve experienced, I realize that even in the darkest moments, there is still strength to be found.