We are all a product of the women who brought us into this world and those who inputted into our lives, guided us, and sacrificed for us. In celebration of Mother’s Day on 14 May, Laager Rooibos is encouraging South Africans to pay tribute to the women who made them who they are today.
“Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to honour the women who raised us. It may not be the women who gave birth to us, but we have all been influenced by female role models in our lives who have shaped us into the people we are today,” explained Candice Sessions, Laager Marketing & Brand Strategy Manager.
To get the ball rolling, the team from Laager Rooibos has shared their personal stories, offering special insight into the impactful women in their lives. For Sessions, it was her mom, Michelle, who was the person she turned to, and it was only when she passed away while Sessions was pregnant with her first child that she fully grasped the impact her mother had on her personal growth.
“My mom was an introvert. She was never loud or flashy, but I learnt so much from her through the way she lived her life. My mom showed me the real meaning of unconditional love and putting your family and children first – something I’ve been lucky enough to put into action with my two girls. She showed me that every person, regardless of their status or background, is worthy of being treated with kindness and love; and she showed me the importance of serving others through your actions. My mom was incredibly patient, compassionate, and principled – these are all traits I strive to embody in my own life. This isn’t something I always get right (especially the patience part!) but if I’m even just a little bit like her, I’ve done well.”
Vilendrie Muthulingum, Technical Manager of Laager explained that the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ really resonated with her, as she has been blessed to have been raised by many women who shaped her into the strong, loving, God-fearing woman she is today.
“Most importantly, my mum – Amma as I call her - instilled values of kindness, compassion and humility. She taught me that it doesn’t cost anything to be kind, even when dealing with people who are difficult to relate to or understand. Her simple message to my siblings and me was always: ‘Don’t lie, don’t steal and don’t cheat’.”
Muthulingum said her mother’s strong belief in accountability has informed her words and actions going forward. And her delicious food and larger-than-life spirit will always be an important part of who she is.
“She taught me empathy and practices it daily, even with people that don’t deserve the best of her. Her common phrase when someone is nasty is ‘Leave it Ma, you can’t change how people are but live your life in a way that you remain true to yourself’. She makes me feel loved, she makes me feel safe, and she is my home.”
South African twin chefs and Laager Rooibos ambassadors, @withlovefromthetwins Lebo and Tebo Ndala, have an incredibly strong bond and love for their family. They have been fortunate to have been impacted by several amazing women in their time, but this Mother’s Day they want to honour three extraordinary women: their mom, their grandmother, and their mentor.
“Our mom taught us the valuable lesson to work hard so that we can achieve (and purchase!) anything we want for ourselves. She taught us not to wait for anyone else to do stuff for us but to always be willing to work hard for ourselves,” commented Lebo. “Our grandmother, Koko, taught us to always be thankful and to never forget the people who’ve helped us. To always remain humble and receive help when we need it, and to offer help when it’s
Speaking of their mentor, Dorah Sitole, Tebo said: “She was an incredible woman and we miss her every day. She taught us a lot about the industry we are in, she also taught us how to graciously deal with people and always put our best foot forward, to let our work speak for itself and to work towards leaving a legacy.”
Mbali Mapholi, Laager partner dietitian, paid tribute to her mother and grandmother, two women who helped shape her into the person she is today:
“My mother ‘uMah’ tragically passed away when I was 22, and six years later I lost my grandmother ‘ugogo’. These were phenomenal women in my life who continue to inspire my life beyond the grave. My mother taught me to be free, live my life to the fullest, dream big and go for those dreams. She influenced me to be creative, to be stylish and to be bold. There are a lot of first initiatives and projects that are still standing today which my mother established in KwaNongoma village.”
Mapholi said her grandmother was a ‘woman of faith’ and taught her to ‘always bask in gratitude, to walk with humility, and care for the ground and all it has to offer’. She recalled tragic stories that showed her grandmother’s strength and resilience, which she carries with her today.
“My grandmother once was chased by a hippo while in the river fishing, and she ended up spending three nights in a tree with a newborn hiding from an angry hippo,” she said. “A few years before the hippo incident she had been beaten up and abused by men who removed her eye. Despite these horrific stories, she was still by far the most fun, the kindest, the warmest human being I ever knew in my whole 28 years. Without any formal education, my grandmother facilitated my home-schooling until I was 11 years. I am who I am today because of these two women who raised me, I can still hear their voices, draw from their lessons, and their legacy lives on.”