It is a story of a determined mother who wanted only the best for her son. It is a story that tells parents that they do not need to be formally educated to play a role in the education of their children. It is a story of this writer and his mother that he wants to bring to you, dear readers, with the hope that you will pass it on and inspire other parents to do the same. I started school at the age of nine. That was two years before the independence of our motherland. By then, some teachers were not really eager to teach effectively. Their favourite thing was to administer corporal punishment even to the innocent learners who dared to ask them questions on the content taught. We learned under fear. It was that environment that led me up to Standard One without even knowing how to read in my vernacular.
My mother discovered it that I could not read and write. She decided to devote her time during weekends to teach me how to read and write in the vernacular. It only took her two consecutive weekends (four days) to teach me how to read and write.
It was a joyous moment to see my humble mother succeeding where the trained ones had failed.
I could see joy in her eyes after she had successfully managed to teach me how to read and write. Similarly, I could see the pain in her eyes since she was not able to teach me how to read and write in the official language. She encouraged me to seek help from teachers.
She would check my books every weekend to see how I was progressing academically. She complemented me on the job well done and encouraged me to work hard and improve where I had failed. She cultivated a culture of reading in me. She did that by asking me to read her any novel she would find in my school plastic bag.
Interestingly, after I had learned how to read and write in the official language, she would ask me to read an English novel and translate it for her into Oshindonga.
That was how my love for reading developed. She was always there to check my school work. She was very hard on me some times. There was a time when she threatened to burn my report card because I had failed all the subjects except Oshindonga. From that day, I made a promise to myself not break her heart again with poor academic results. It was that promise coupled with my vision to succeed in life that landed me at the Police Training College, College of Education and University of Namibia respectively. Today, I can humbly say that I am an academic and a writer.
Thank you mom! You are the greatest teacher I ever had and seen. I will dedicate my first book to you.
Dear parents out there, it worries me that some of you hardy avail yourselves to support your children in their education. Disappointingly, even some of the educated parents do not monitor their children’s school work.
Dear parents, be there for your children. Your involvement in their education will inspire the them to work hard and achieve their dreams. I am referring to both surrogate and biological parents.
Salomo Mekondjo Nambinga