By John Mokwetsi
I often doubt myself.
I question myself and I question why things are programmed the way they are in my life.
Maybe I occasionally suffer from impostor syndrome or maybe I am just never quite content with whatever I may have achieved.
There are times I when try disassociate myself from my successes and from those achievements people use to define what I am or what I have become.
It is never enough to be me. Some call it ambition and a psychologist friend says it is low self-esteem.
But it is when I forget other amazing things about being me that I am reminded by my tortured conscience what the great spiritual writer, Thomas Merton once said:
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him.”
In those moments when I have felt my ambition waning, when I have considered my resolutions to be as worthless as the paper they are written on – I have had shoulders graciously offered to me to lean on… and to weep if need be.
Perhaps I took to heart the words of that brilliant French novelist by the name Marcel Proust who said: “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
Whenever it seemed as though my soul where lost and searching for the path; I have always had that unexpected yet amazing midnight call or that thoughtful and encouraging Facebook inbox and more importantly – the motherly assurance that all would be well.
My mother has had to play the role of a father figure in my life and as a single parent her life was far from easy and fulfilling these roles required a great deal of dedication.
Despite the financially constraints she worked hard to ensure I was fed, clothed, sheltered and that I got a reasonable education.
She has been there to listen to my stories of disappointing girlfriends.
That closeness can only be born out of the heart of a woman, for it is the maternal love that can only be patient with the whining and complaints I had almost on a frequent basis about this and that.
I only discovered a half-brother and two sisters very recently. After 32 years of living I found myself with siblings – a brother and sisters.
Before them, I’m grateful to the close friends I’ve made over the years because I think my friends somehow became dots that linked up to create the person I have become.
From Tafadzwa Chinembiri who has always been there… to Delta Milayo Ndou who always says I can be whoever I want to be… to Bethel Goka who keeps on pushing me… to workmates who have monitored my progress and cheered me all the way and to Joseph Katete’s ears that never tire of my fears.
I am especially blessed to have my wife Mildred who chooses not to see my weaknesses while I am indebted to Vincent Kahiya who put his head on the block for me.
I think of and appreciate people like Ignatius Mabasa for the inspiration and for believing in me, as well as the colleagues I met at the University of Sussex and all the help they gave me (Zondi, Mialisa, Tanya, Sammy and a host of them).
At some point in this whole article, I obviously have to make mention of my favorite football team so here it goes – to Dynamos supporters for showing me that when you cheer others you cheer yourself too!
But I reserve the last and most important mention for my son, Jayden.
Jayden is the brother I never had, he is the reason I work hard, he reminds me of the father I never had because he passed away when I was too young cry.
Jayden is the personification of all my joy as a father and the embodiment of all my fears that go with fatherhood.
They are many others I did not mention, not because their contribution was less important, but because there are far too many to mention.
Suffice to say, I remember each and every one of them and I am so grateful to them.