Family’s first honours graduate pays tribute to mom.. Silvester Manyonga’s family made many sacrifices in the hope of paving out a better future for him — and it paid off.
This week, he graduates with a BSc honours in computer science and information systems at Nelson Mandela University’s autumn graduation.
He is the first in the family to obtain an honours degree.
“My parents sacrificed their lives to come to SA with the hope of giving me a better life.
“So I wrote this poem when my mom got sick in my undergraduate year in 2019 and I thought she wouldn’t live long enough to see this through, but the stars smiled at us and here we are,” Manyonga said.
He was also the arts and culture performer of 2019 in the poetry category.
I hear your tears
And I see your cries
I feel your thoughts
And I can touch your pain,
It’s soaking wet, dripping
With blood, oozing from your eyes
Mama I hear your bones cracking
Your muscles drying up,
I hear the squeaky sounds as you walk
Every step you take is painful
I feel the weight on your shoulders
from these big doilies bags that you carry
On your back,
Beautiful, hand knitted pieces, like me
Like my brothers, like my sisters, like my nieces and nephews, cousins and uncles.
All these beauty full pieces that you carefully crochet together.
I try to breathe the dense air that you breathe
And I choke
Asi ndiri kuzama
I see all this and it troubles my soul
And I want to help out,
But I’m growing up just a little too slow
And you’re ageing just a little too fast
Be patient mama, wait for me,
I’m learning how to walk, faster
I’m learning how to see, better
Learning, how to suffer with a smile
On your face and not a single tear
How, to deal with depression without telling a single dear
Learning how to give up dreams for some sleep
I’m learning how to live in a jungle for someone you love
I’m learning, like you I’m learning
How to be you mama
Asi ndiri kudzidza
I’m learning how you find the warm spots in thick ice
How you find coolness in intense heat
Learning how you see light in darkness
How you fly without wings
I’m learning,how you multiply sums in your head and yield answers
I’m learning how to become a man from a woman.
From you, I’m learning a lot mama
I am learning how to love like a mother
And I’m not even close
to getting it right.