Felicia Mabuza-Suttle quoted an ancient African proverb, "It takes a village to raise an African child," as she let a little girl sleep on her shoulder on the aeroplane for the entire flight. My mother has always told me to treat all adults with a sincere respect, as if they were my own parents. This common African sense of family within a community is still a very relevant concept in some pockets of our modern world even after many generations.
I consider myself that African child that has been raised by the village. My life is not only a product of my parent’s excellent upbringing but also a combined effort of many who have raised me to become a woman. My victories have been a direct result of the lessons that the villagers have taught me. My family, my friends, my acquaintances it has been your love, your prayers, your guidance, your words of correction; it has been you, yes you that have contributed to the person that I am today. It has been your success stories that have given me a new hope and courage. Many have treated me with such kindness, almost as if I were their very own blood. And for that I'm grateful. I continue to be trained in the school of life and look forward to learning everyday with guidance from God.
I celebrate the breath of life that God gave me 27 years ago on the 9th of September. I'm joyful, humbled and honoured that I've been afforded the privilege to live THIS life in particular with such people, in this country, in this village.