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  • Isabella Naiduki

One Less Than 40

I turned 39 yesterday and I was treated to a wonderful welcome to the final year of my third decade with a bout of norovirus. As you do when you have young gremlins who touch every surface they pass, with absolutely no concept of personal space when it comes to their friends and us, providing us the opportunity to be the unfortunate recipients of their grimy germs. But they made me pancakes for breakfast and also cleaned up afterwards which is more than I can ask for, small wins and all.

My eldest turned 19 earlier this year also, a bittersweet year for me as her mom because it’s also the age I was when I had her. Fresh out of high school and in my first year at uni, a child in every other sense except the legal definition. Although our journey hasn't been easy, we have persevered and overcome challenges that many would find insurmountable. I am proud of the person she has become and I know we have tried our best to raise her to be strong, resilient, and compassionate, with a heart full of love and a mind full of dreams. My hope is that through this, we have also instilled in her the strength to recognise when boundaries need to be placed even when it comes to those you deem closest to you, most especially when they actively choose to weaponise the traumatic situations of imbalanced power dynamics, social hierarchies and traditional protocols that play into the silencing of the most vulnerable. I also hope that there is intentional joy in the life choices that she makes because that was a privilege I did not have the capacity to have, as a young single mom.

But as life would have it, joy came in other forms once I decided to live life as it had been gifted to me, albeit packaged slightly different to how I wanted it to be. Indeed I am grateful for the privilege of being her mother, but I am equally grateful for the presence of Neville in our lives. Neville is more than a husband, he is a pillar of support, a mentor, and a father figure to our daughter Vasemaca. He has been a constant presence in her life for the past 16 years, providing her with love, guidance, and stability. His dedication and commitment to her well-being are unmatched, and he rightfully lays claim to the privilege of being her father. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for his unwavering support, his commitment to be intentionally present for all our children and for the joy and love that he has brought into our lives. He deserves all his flowers and some when it comes to his role as the head of our family because most of the traits, if not all, that is good and kind and of stoic character that you all see in our children when you meet them is because of this man. If it were all up to me, my children and I would be moving through this world with the mantra, “we ride at dawn” and we would be happily lighting our way with all the bridges we burned as we go scorched earth on anyone and everything!

So as I enter the final year of my third decade, I am filled with hope and excitement for the future. I know I am blessed with a loving family, a supportive partner, and the opportunity to continue pursuing my dreams. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, the challenges I have overcome, and the growth I have experienced. I look forward to the years ahead, knowing that with the love and support of those around me, anything is possible.

With that being said, Happy New Year folks because obviously, the year has just begun for me as these past two months have been a baptism of fire that has challenged me in so many ways and yet we move regardless.

Bella x


Mar 11, 2023

Totoka na vakayatuyatu Bella. Belated birthday to you too. Loloma levu mai na Savu famili x


Mar 07, 2023

Love it 💗

Happy belated birthday tavale.

Loloma yani vei kemudou

God bless


Mar 07, 2023

I read these with tears in my heart ❤️.

you will always stood tall among our midst for your outstanding and intelligent contributions to the lovers of exquisitely written pieces .Your light May be dimmed today,it will get brighter soon 🔜


Mar 07, 2023

Vinaka vakalevu na i takitaki Taciqu. Happy belated birthday to you. Keitou sa loloma yani vei kemudou taucoko.


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