Excerpt for The Sun Will Always Rise by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Sun Will

Always Rise



The Sun Will

Always Rise



Learning to live with life threatening Challenges...



Vivian Bri Masuku



Copyright © 2017 Vivian Bri Masuku



Published by Vivian Bri Masuku at Smashwords



First edition 2016



All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without permission from the copyright holder.



The Author has made every effort to trace and acknowledge sources/resources/individuals. In the event that any images/information have been incorrectly attributed or credited, the Author will be pleased to rectify these omissions at the earliest opportunity.



Published by Author using Reach Publishers’ services,

P O Box 1384, Wandsbeck, South Africa, 3631



Printed and bound by Novus Print Solutions



Edited by Derek Awkins for Reach Publishers

Website: www.reachpublishers.co.za

E-mail: reach@webstorm.co.za



This book is presented solely for educational and motivational purposes. The views contained in it are the views of the author and are based on her personal experiences and not necessarily those of the publisher. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for any physical, psychological, emotional or commercial damage, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential or other damages. References are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any websites or other sources. Readers should be aware that the websites listed in this book may change.



Contributors

I should like to acknowledge the assistance of the following people:

Prof Lekgwara (Neurosurgeon)

Thank you for removing the tumour in my brain. You helped save my life.

Dr D Manyane

My Neurologist for taking care of me.

ICU staff at Akasia Hospital

Thank you for the extra care.

HDU staff at Meulmed Hospital

Thank you for giving me my life back.

Thabo Tshitake

My occupational therapist for your dedication and support.

Romeo Mabasa

Thank you for walking the writing journey with me. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Dan Chuene

Thank you for helping me with the editing

Appreciation

I should like to thank God for being my potter. He has made me who I am and I am still growing. I thank Him for being my provider, and I am grateful to Him for giving me a second chance. I praise. I give thanks. I glorify His name because he is the El-shadai. I also thank my brethren from Charity and Faith Mission Church.

I should also like to thank my husband Mpho Masuku. He truly is a gift from God. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for him. I would like to thank my parents for instilling in me the values of life. To Mom Herminah Seopa, thank you for teaching me to be honest no matter what. To my Dad Ishmael Seopa, thank you for teaching me to respect people regardless of their status in this world.

I should like to thank my siblings Ellaonah, Dan and Bradley Seopa for putting up with me for so many years. Your love is never-changing. Also my brother’s wives, Maki and Julia for their support.

My in-laws Christinah Masuku, Peter Masuku, Queen Motloung, Pastor Johannes Motloung. Thank you for the love, support, prayers and the journey in faith.

My friends – Surpy and Shika Malatjie, Malebo Phala, Mpho Phuti, Elaine Singo, Carol Magaga, Gina Vilakazi, Bridgette Matshego and Eva Mamabolo. Thank you for the support all through the years of our struggles, our achievements, our ups and our downs - your love and acceptance means a lot.

My colleagues - for always helping me out when I need help.

Foreword

By Romeo Hanyani Mabasa

As a life coach, I often talk to people who mostly appreciate life too late. Most of us wait for a:

Life-threatening experience

Accident

Botched or successful hi-jacking

Funeral of extended families (where we recover too quickly)

Funeral of our close family members (I separate the two because the mourning and reflections are different)

Job loss

Bankruptcy



…and the list goes on.

When we start evaluating our priorities, one of the most interesting facts is how during any of the atrocities of life, family is the first point of call. Now imagine someone who doesn’t have a close relationship with his or her family, and when during this time, loneliness becomes the order of the day. I am inspired by the story of Bridgette who, despite the odds, chose to live and make the most of her life, and hence this book. Her story will help you understand how certain ills which life throws at us don’t have to be our end, but can rather be an inspiring story to help us, in turn, to inspire others. I remember how when I took on this project to help her pen this book, the journey changed my life and one thing I take from this experience is that if I can always choose one thing in my life, I CHOOSE TO LIVE my life with no excuses and apologies.

You will enjoy reading this book, and what more can I say, except: Here’s to a fulfilled life! – Romeo Hanyani Mabasa.



Bridgette asked me to review her book, The Sun Will Always for the purpose of writing a review/preview for her. I went into it immediately because I was captured by its title. Once I started, I could not put it down. As I delved deeper into the book, my reason for reading it changed. I continued to read it because of what it was doing to me. It was healing me.

There are moments in life when we feel sorry for ourselves. Moments when we think what we are experiencing is worse than what others are going through. This book will definitely change how you perceive your problems. You will start being grateful realising how minute your problems compared to what Bridgette has gone through. You will be inspired to fight on. Her resilience, her courage will challenge you to keep fighting in this complex game of life.

Yes, she is open and frank about the moments of weakness through her ordeal. We all experience such moments. Moments when our faith is tested until we ask; “why me”? I am glad she wrote this book to help you and I to appreciate life more. I thank Bridgette for reassuring us that The Sun Will Always Rise.

Part 1
Growing Up



1
My Childhood

When I was born my mom named me Bridgitt. When my father went to have the birth certificates made he put the names Mpolokeng and Vivian. I do not like my official names, and anyway, how many of us really love our official African names? In fact I am reminded of names which were popular when we were growing up, such as:

Matlakala (Rubbish)

Matlhomola (Sadness)

Dikeledi (Tears)

Oupa, mostly referred to as “The O”, Obzen, (Grandfather)

Ouma (Grandmother)

Hlupeka (Suffer)

Kedibone ( I have seen them, which in this case refer to things)

Masheleng (Shillings).



Mpolokeng has two meanings, one of which is ‘bury me’, which is what most people think when they hear the name, while the second is ‘protect me’, which is my father’s mom’s name, and Vivian is my mom’s sister’s. You may well ask yourself why African parents name their children such horrible names, but times have changed and today’s names are just awesome, such as:

Tumelo (Faith)

Tshegofatso (Blessing)

Ontshiametse (God is good to me)

Gontlafetse (It’s beautiful)

Bontle (Beauty)

Kgalalelo (Glory)

Thoriso (Praise)

Tshepo (Hope)

Paballo (Protection)

Kagiso (Peace).



The list is endless. To this day I do not understand and I am not in favour of naming a child after someone. I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Each and every one of my siblings has been named after someone, some of whom we do not even know. I truly believe it’s a curse and I have my reasons, which I am not willing to share. If you also do that, I highly respect your choices too.

At first people called me Bridgitt but as I was growing up I came across the name Bridgette. I liked it better than Bridgitt so I started telling people that I am Bridgette. It is a decision I regretted as I found Bridgitt to be scarcer these days. In a way it does not matter now as the people I am close to call me Bri.

I was born on the 3rd of December 1974 in a hospital in what was formerly known as Lady Selbourne in Pretoria. In 1960 black citizens were removed from the suburb of Lady Selbourne in Pretoria to Atteridgeville, Ga-rankuwa, Mabopane and Soshanguve. My father’s mom was moved to Mamelodi.

Mamelodi was established in 1953. It is situated about 20 km east of the city of Pretoria (now known as Tshwane). The Group Areas Act designated Mamelodi as a blacks only area. It started with a mere 16 houses built on the farm called Vlakfontein for black people, and was later changed to Mamelodi. The oldies call it ‘Vlaka’.The name Mamelodi means ‘mother of melodies’, derived from the name given to the then president Paul Kruger by black people because of his unusual ability to whistle and imitate birds.



2
My Family

I am the third of four children, my sister Ellaonah, my brother Dan and a younger brother Bradley. My father is physically a very strong man. He is a man of integrity, a righteous man, a father in the true sense of the word and a hard worker who took care of his family. We were one of the first people to get a TV, those beta videos and a land-line. He was very strict. We were expected to be home by 6 o’clock and to go to church every Sunday. His origin is Polokwane (formerly known as Pietersburg) Ga-Matlala.

Although we were afraid of him, he was never one to consistently beat his children. He beat me only once when I got home after six. At home we had two fruit trees, peach and apricot trees, and some grapevines. He used the branches of a grapevine to beat me. He told me to stretch out my hand, hit me twice but then when I pretended to cry, he stopped. I am the only child to whom he has given a hiding. He also didn’t like us swearing.

In Mamelodi when things are bad you would say ‘go a nyewa’, which basically means people are ‘shitting’. When we were growing up we did not understand the meaning. For example, I would be narrating to my father about something that had happened yesterday, and would add that people were ‘shitting’ in the sentence. He would remind me that it’s not a word that is acceptable, but did not explain why he did not want us to use that word. We only understood it much later. He is very proud of who he is and very proud of what we have become.

Although we were afraid of him there were moments where we had a laugh with him. He used to buy sweets and put them in his pockets, and then when we were sitting together as a family he would take out one sweet and pop it into his mouth. We would all get excited and beg him for sweets, and he would finally give us some. One day he bought what he thought were sweets, but they were Rennies for heartburn. He popped one into his mouth as I was about to ask him for one, my older sister realized what they were, we laughed at him for the whole week.

As I have mentioned earlier, there was also a grapevine in the yard. During those years nearly each and every house had a fruit tree. During spring the tree produces green caterpillars. My father would get one caterpillar and tell us to gather around him. He would use his index finger and thumb to hold the caterpillar. Then he would say ‘where is Bridgitt?’, and the worm would point to me. Then, ‘where is Ellaonah?’ and the worm would change its direction to my sister. I don’t know how he did it, but we grew up believing the caterpillars knew our names. Although I still don’t know how he did it, I do know now that the caterpillars could not have known us by name.

All in all, my father was a good father, a father I could talk to. I remember one day I was just fed up with my mum and I told my father that one day I was going to beat up my mother, but he didn’t overreact and just reasoned with me.

My mother is an honest woman who hails from deep in Rustenburg, from a place called Dwarsberg. If you know the Tswana people you would know that they speak their minds and call a spade a spade. She always confronts issues, and these are traits I inherited from her. She was a seamstress and we were never short of clothes when we were young. Unlike my father my mom used to beat us all the time, even unnecessarily so.

I remember one day when we were sitting under the peach tree. I had a jug of water and I wanted a drink from it, but my brother took the water by force, drank it and then gave it back to me to drink. I said I didn’t want the water anymore. My mom just stood up, took a branch from the tree and whipped me for not wanting water. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t grow up close to my mother because we were afraid of her. She was what we call tšhobolo, the tšh pronounced ch, meaning always shouting and scolding. The last time my mom gave me a hiding was when I decided to just stand there while she was whipping me. That did the trick. What I liked about my mom though, was when I was older my friends loved her. They used to come to my home literally every day, and even when I was not at home they would sit and chat with her.

When I was about 20 years of age we used to fight all the time because I could tell her when she was wrong. She used to say, “Waitsi wena Bridgitt o masepa” (‘You are a piece of shit’), which is normal language for the Tswana people but it didn’t hurt me. One of my favourites was: “Ge nkabe ke itsitse gore o nna masepa a kana nkabe ke go ntse ka mosamelo” (‘If I had known that you’ll be such a piece of shit I would have sat on top of you with a pillow’).

Now that I am a woman she’s my pillar. She is everything a daughter could ask for in a mother, and we find her funny. For instance, we went to a funeral in Dwarsberg not so long ago. There we met someone she hadn’t seen in over 40 years. The granny had a baby on her back. They were happy to see each other after such a long time, and then my mom said, “Ngwana o wa tlhogo e kima o ke mang?” (‘Who’s this baby with a big head?’). Where I come from you do not say these things because they are offensive. But the granny was not offended. I love my mom to bits - she’s all I have except for my husband.

We were taught respect at a very young age by both our parents. My father insisted that we call my sister ‘sesi’ (‘sister’), my brother ‘abuti’ (‘brother’), and that my younger brother call me ‘ausi’ (another name for sister). The latter did not happen because my younger brother and I were such good friends. My mother insisted that we call each and every older woman ‘Mma’ (‘Mother’) and older man ‘Pa’. We grew up doing that to such an extent that I cringe at the sound of someone younger calling me by my name. When someone calls you by your name, you wouldn’t say ‘huh?’ like today’s generation. You would answer accordingly, and if it were someone older than you, you would say ‘Mma’ or ‘Ausi’, depending on the age of the person who was calling you. You were supposed to greet each and every parent on the street, whether she/he liked your family or not. That was our culture.

My sister, six years older than me was a darling of darlings. Jolly and very much loved, especially by people who were mentally and physically challenged, including a midget who was the size of my sister’s 4-year-old boy. We used to have them as guests because of her. She later passed on and all of them are gone now. I remember one mentally challenged girl in particular. Her name was Joyce and she was about 12 years old. She sort of found us on our way to church during the week, so we relaxed a bit. We poured her a cup of coca cola, but the problem was she was sipping it so slowly, and we wanted to leave. I urged her to gulp and she just ignored me. So my mom said to her, “If you don’t finish up that drink I’m going to take the cup away from you. She replied, “The cup you can take but the drink - forget it!” We burst out laughing.

My sister and I never fought except for this one day. She was playing Barry White (she loved Barry with all her heart) in the house, around that time the neighbours were used to listening to Motsweding FM, or Radio Setswana, as it was called at the time. I went to the tap and heard a song playing next door that I liked (nothing compares by Sinead O’Connor). It was during the times of cassettes and she had one of Barry White’s. I ran into the house and asked her to stop Barry White so that I could sing along with Sinead’s song, and then she could continue with Barry White afterwards. She said, “No”, and so I went and stopped the cassette and switched to FM. My sister came in and stopped the tuner and switched back to the cassette. That’s when the fight started. I couldn’t understand why because my reasoning was that she could listen to Barry White any time because she had him on cassette. Because she was older and heavier she won the fight. I wouldn’t leave it at that, so I took out a knife and stabbed her on the breast, then we fought for the knife and that’s when she cut me on my arm. I left her to clean up the blood. I went to take a bath and then went to my neighbour’s house. Later on my sister cooked and called me to come and eat. We never talked about it. We sort of made a silent agreement not to talk about it, and even today my mom doesn’t know.

My brother, three years older, was a very stubborn boy who didn’t like people. We didn’t get along at all and were always fighting, even physically. We fought so much that I can’t even recall one incident. If I had a fight with my younger brother and beat him, Dan would always come and beat me for beating Bradley. He always won but I always put up a good fight. In Sepedi language we say ‘katsana ya Modimo e hwa e ingapetše’, which in English when directly translated is: ‘…you die having put up a fight’. I was always ready to stand up for myself, and because of him I was this stubborn, cheeky child. We used to call him MacGyver because he was a thinker and could fix anything. Even when we were on good terms we would play by fighting. I remember him making a punching bag for me so that I could learn how to throw a fist, but somehow I never needed to throw a fist at a human being. Today he is such an angel, a real peacemaker in the family. I don’t know what changed over the years. I just love him.

My younger brother is two years younger than me, and is ‘my friend, my “twin’”. At home we were all very participative at church. We are from an Anglican background. My brother and I were both members of the St Lawrence Guild (altar boys and girls), and the youth club, and as such had the same friends. We were very mischievous. I will tell you of just two occasions, but there were many.

One was when I was about fifteen and the Pretoria Show was on, but we didn’t have any money to go. Bradley and the boys went out to create a donation list as if it was from a certain school, and they went knocking door to door asking for a donation, and so we managed to go to the Pretoria Show. On another occasion at the High School that we were both attending, there was a teacher who was just tired of my brother. He wrote a letter to my father asking him to come to school. Knowing how strict papa was, we decided to keep the letter and responded with our own letter. I was very good at English, and so I wrote the letter and made it sound as if it was from an adult.

In essence, I was a child who knew what was right because of my father. I called a spade a spade because of my mother and loved people because of my sister. I was very cheeky because of my older brother and mischievous because of my younger brother.


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