Phindy as a child in Umlazi W section


Phindy’s father with some of the “sleeping” sisters

09 January 2020 | 15H29

Well, it’s my birthday today and a happy birthday to me!

I must say that as a child, a birthday is like Christmas. You look forward to it; the hugs, kisses, calls, and the special treatment you’d get throughout the day. In my family when we were young, a birthday meant no chores, wear your best outfit and later in the evening go to Spur to celebrate and have the staff sing happy birthday to you. It was amazing. If your birthday was on a school day, you’d wear a star on your forehead and if your parents afforded to, they’d bring in a cake for your entire class – as a child birthdays are the best.

Fast forward to birthdays as an adult, it is the opposite. Goodbye to special treatment and cake. Now if someone even says happy birthday to you is a gift on its own. Social media is even worse, you get those who post “HBD” just merely for the sake of doing it. I would rather you keep quiet than to superficially post three letters on my wall. In the work environment, you are the one that must buy the office a cake and the same thing at home too. Before people would make an effort to be the first to wish you well but now a call can come in at 23H59 just before your birthday ends and you must still say thank you with a big smile.

A particular birthday I will never forget was my 9th when I was in grade four. My mother had a broken leg, was immobile, and couldn’t do much for me, so we had to take care of her. Regardless of that, all my nine-year-old self wanted to do then was to learn to iron clothes! I spent my birthday ironing the day away. This was invigorating and from that day onward, I started ironing my clothes.

Domestication has always somewhat intrigued me – I’ve consistently had a deep yearning to learn and grow in this department. It all starts when I was a young girl who always cleaned the house and made sure everything was neat and tidy. Waking up early is in my blood; and on Saturday mornings, when every other schoolchild was probably catching up on some sleep, I’d be up cleaning. I’d be busy cleaning the house that by the time everyone else wakes up, I would be done with everything (then everyone would make the house all dirty again). I use to have fun cleaning the house but this didn’t make my father happy. This would upset him. He thought my sisters were abusing me and taking advantage of my kind nature. They would wake up after 11H00 and my father put an end to this. He demanded that a list of house chores be made so that everyone had something to do. Even after the list was compiled, they still slept and I willingly did their chores for them.

Regardless of the changing times and different methods of celebrating, birthdays are special. It’s that day where you feel all mushy and grateful for being alive. This year I’m smiling from ear to ear; grateful to be 28, grateful to be a mother of two, grateful to be celebrating 5 years in marriage, and grateful for a new Tv show. I don’t expect anyone to pamper me but I’ll be the one going the extra mile to make someone else feel special today.


**HBD is short for Happy Birthday **


                                           Lots of Love, Phindy