Today I celebrate the reason for my existence on earth.
Today I celebrate the vessel God picked specially to convey me into this World.
Today I celebrate my role model, my shield, my safe haven, my sweet mother as you mark another year in your life.
To understand the song "Sweet Mother", all I need to do is look at you and the lyrics comes to life.
And each line reminds me of how much you sacrificed to keep I and my sister full clothed, well educated and well fed.
Looking back, now faced with my own responsibilities, I can only imagine what you went through to take care of us because even though we may not have lived in mansions and owned exotic cars, we never lacked.
We never went hungry. We were never left unclothed. We never went a day without a roof above our heads.
You struggled to get us into the best schools around, you were with us all through every process in our lives...even our first year registration in the University, lol
I can remember being so embarrassed, like really how was I supposed to prove my independence in front of my classmates after I was virtually led by my mom throughout my registration process.
The upside was that you always took away the stress that came with every new journey we had to take.
You were and still is the very protective mother hen we grew up knowing...no one messes with her chicks *big smile*.
But despite this "smothering", one would expects us to turn out weak and unable to rely on our individual strengths.
Well, we turned out to be the opposite.
Because you never spared the rod at the right time (trust African Mama...you mess up, you get memorable smacks) and then when everything calms down (being our melodious wails), I can remember you sitting us down and telling us where we went wrong and why we shouldn't do it again.
My protective mother hen, you taught us how to live based on our firm belief in God and belief in our strength as humans.
You taught us how to stand up and get what we want out of life irrespective of our age and gender.
You taught us how to avoid being ruled by circumstances and instead learn how to fearlessly take the bull by its horns.
You taught us how to be content, for even though we had friends who probably had more than we did, we never wanted more.
You taught us how to work hard for whatever we wanted out of life; from an early age I knew life wasn't a bed of roses and to get to the top I had to put in extra effort.
Most importantly, you literally showed us the strong and unflinching power that exists in the delicate frames of women.
You did everything a provider would do and still had the time and strength to nurture us, your babies.
From an early age I learnt how to be focused because I knew letting myself and you down wasn't an option.
Today I celebrate my Margaret Thatcher (for her unflinching strength).
Today I celebrate my Queen Amina (for her undying loyalty to the people she loves).
Today I celebrate my sweet mother; Hajiya Karimat Isang, for being my safe haven and for making me the woman I am today.
Today I celebrate my Amazon, for breaking that gender barrier in my head from an early age and showing me, through your life and pursuits, that I can be whoever I want to be irrespective of my gender.
Today I celebrate my World.
Happy birthday Mamawo.
I love you now and forever.