I love the early winter mornings they remind me of the time I was young. With rheum in my eyes, the first thing I thought of when I woke up was to look for a strategic spot to bask in the sun, the beautiful African sun.
Sometimes I fought with friends for a place with the most sun. So precious a time it was as we would sit for hours with our mothers too, having breakfast while taking in every ray. Back then, it was very normal and highly expected to have a stay-at-home mother. Their greatest responsibility was defined around taking care of the household, mostly child upbringing. You could say most of the values, standards of humanity and care I grew entrenched in were motivated by my mother. Over the years I have celebrated Mother’s Day but where did this special day originate?
Origins of Mother’s Day:
It is believed that Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia originated Mother’s Day in memory of her mother in 1907. As events unfolded in every state regarding observing the day, in 1914 the then US President Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday. However, it is important to note that Mother’s Day celebrations around the world differ from nation to nation with many adopting the day as celebrated in United States of America.
The essence of Mother’s Day celebrations:
I believe the answer is centred on the following questions,
- Why do we celebrate mothers?
- How do we celebrate mothers?
- What defines and qualifies one to be a mother?
- Who is a mother?
- The last question is what motivated the writing of this article.
In recent years, there has been a spike in child marriages particularly in Africa. This act of human rights violation has become a global issue taking place on a vast scale. Mostly motivated by poverty and gender inequality, as young as ten or eleven years of age, a child is forced into a make-shift labour room to give birth. Hundreds if not thousands are dying in the process, being sacrificed on the evil altar of parental ignorance.
Therefore, as the 8th of May is approaching, how are you celebrating Mother’s Day? As we take time out to celebrate the mothers in our societies in special ways we have always done over the years, let us take time to salute voices that have stood against the social ill of turning our beautiful African girls into brides. Let us allow the girl child to grow to fulfil her purpose. So, we add our voice in saying:
NO TO CHILD MARRIAGES! NO TO CHILD BRIDES! NO TO CHILD PREGNANCIES!