I am blessed to be surrounded by a wonderful family. We are close, we talk and we laugh together. I am supported under my parents roof and not just financially. However despite this, I am always surprised and finding family in unexpected places. It’s not that anything was missing before… but there are people you cannot help but hold dear to you and care about.
On Whatsapp there’s a group called _We Social. I hated the idea of Wati adding me to it. After an hour over 150 messages had been sent…what could these people have to talk about? The chats were frivolous and I knew at once I wouldn’t take it seriously. I mean how realistic is it chatting with over 24 strangers who’s only clue to their identity were chat room nicknames.
Something in me forced me to get involved and the more I started chatting with them, the more I became fascinated with their personalities and stories.
Benita is constantly tearing up about something but always had something positive to say. Bugz is a trouble-maker like me, always ready with the dirty talk. Lee is the selfie queen and a tweleb in the making. Mpho, Ntando and Reuben and Riley are our guys who conveniently are only around when conversations about sex are happening. Then there are the creatives like Riz, Sihle and Trompie. Thatso has school and Tina is a single mom who is so compassionate and open. Wati is someone who brings us all together, surprisingly intuitive about what the group needs to get us talking or to change the tone.
Despite not knowing these people, my routine had shifted to needing to check the group as soon as I woke up and before I went to sleep. Appreciating everyone’s opinions and being able to share such personal experiences on an open platform with strangers- truly a safe space. I’ve come to love and admire these strangers who set my phone vibrating.
Moving closer to home, my family extends from Johannesburg to Cape Town and all the way in between. I’ve found an older brother in Kasi who has given me some surprisingly serious and sobering speeches. Lindi I see now as a sister who I can battle out the confusing world of relationships with. My heart beats in Cape Town with my husband Lu and my brother in arms, Vuyo always keeping in touch with me, just to let me know that I’m still relevant in their lives and vice versa.
On 24 August 2014, I became a God mother. A sexy one of course. Her name is Athena Olerato Mothudi-Goremusandu and she has a Bots mother, an Zim father and four crazy local god parents. Athena is being groomed in my mind to take over the world, once I decide to step down from my throne. I hope to instil in her wisdom and a love of literature. Athena is also a physical presence of unexpected family. I fully recognise the importance of the role as a god mother. If anything should happen to her parents, I would be there for her in any way, she has a home with me.
This isn’t my most articulate post but the strongest sense I have of this familial connection that doesn’t always originate from blood. Being linked to these lives is a wonderful and inspiring feeling but it also comes with a certain responsibility. The more you expect others to open up to you, the more you must show of yourself and become vulnerable for them.
These unlikely family members are allowing me to slowly open up again and I’m loving every minute of it.