I’m Qaanita, mother of 2 lively boys aged 3 and 7.
I am an HR Manager at a welding company by day, but my real interests have always been in the social development and mental health. In 2010, I was one of a group of women who started the Friends in Giving (FIG) Network – an NPO that runs social outreach projects in under-served communities.
My initiation into motherhood in 2015 was beautiful and well-supported but not without some dark moments in the early days. We struggled to establish breastfeeding with the first proper latch only taking place at 6 weeks. I think the experience turned me into a breastfeeding and empowered-birth advocate amongst friends and family. At one point I was even the milk mother to an infant whose mom could not breastfeed.
Once I became a mother, there was a worldview change. When I looked at the safe-houses and orphanages we work with, I couldn’t see the child who suffers abandonment and neglect without also seeing a mother who has been severely abandoned and neglected by the socio-economic systems in South Africa.
I want to use the Mamandla Fellowship as an opportunity to learn the skills I need to return to the community, both my own and those in more under-resourced areas, and be a better supporter of mothers! A breaker of generational-chains! A sharer of beneficial knowledge and resources! A listener of stories! And an all-round advocate for the many issues that affect mothers in this country.