Author: Bongiwe Nomaqumba
Published by the author
Reviewed by: Fiona de Villiers
This slim book may have only 31 pages, but it has a mighty heart.
It was self-published by a woman who has known enormous loss. In 2011, Bongiwe Nomaqumba gave birth to a little girl, Loyisolwethu (lovingly nicknamed Lolo). To the mother’s utter despair, this little girl died in 2012.
Nomaqumba showed great courage in writing a tribute to her little one, who was born with Down syndrome. Says the mother: “In my greatest despair after losing my baby girl, I started playing [sic] all the beautiful memories we created together. I dotted few words down [sic] and they became alive again in the form of this book. I believe it is best allowing Lolo to be the one sharing our treasured memories.”
Thus her short story is narrated by Lolo herself. Her mother was active with a camera and documented each precious moment. There are highs – the marking of her one-month “birthday”, Christmas, unlimited love shown by family members and going to crèche – and lows in the form of
declining health. Throughout, a calm acceptance of her condition prevails, as does a mother’s simple joy in her daughter’s every living moment.
This book could be a valuable asset in the life orientation classroom, where students could talk and learn about a number of issues, such as the importance of family and community, death, differently abled children and the struggles they face with their families, and the jobs of social and healthcare workers.
Category: Spring 2016