What would make it easier? Honestly, some more support groups. I don’t see – and I’m not one of those political people – but I don’t see the government giving any type of emotional support to mothers. I think we discussed it awhile back where I had a terrible experience in [one of] the government hospitals when I was neglected very soon after giving birth. Then what I didn’t discuss was that the hospital called me back and asked me why the experience was so terrible and what they could do to improve how they treat, especially maternity patients at government facilities. What I said to them, was that they need to- it’s almost as if that staff at places like this that deal with moms, aren’t trained in emotionally helping women. Yes, you can physically help me, you can give me a plaster and you can give me some Panado, but being a mother- and I know I’m only focusing on the birth aspect, but it is a big part of South Africa specifically. People who work with moms need to be trained in the different types of emotions that moms are going through, whether you are a new mom and you just had a C-section, whether you have a 3-year old and you’re suffering with- because you can have a post-natal depression and your child is 10, you can still be super depressed. I think people are not equipped to handle mother’s emotions and if we had support groups… just readily available, because a lot of the women that are suffering can’t pay for any of these things and if we had support groups, or just places where women could go and say, “I’m a mom, this is how I feel” and there were trained people to deal with it… I think that would help a lot.
Meet the artist
Photographing the story telling circles has been more than just a job for me or another photography booking. It definitely had me questioning my relationship with my mother and got me thinking about it actively and how I can be a better daughter and assist her where I can. I totally related with some of the stories shared, further solidifying the fact that you do not have to give birth in order to understand mothers or be a mother. The circles has allowed me to redefine what being a mother is entirely. I definitely want to host a circle with my aunts, cousins, mom, gran and the rest of the matriarchs in the Mkosi family to have similar conversations.