Many of you might not know what or who is “Salome & Gogo”. Let me enlighten you then. Salome & Gogo is my new children’s book series. An unusual name for a children’s book. A unique title for a unique story. It would be silly for me to review my own book, obviously it will be considered bias.
I am an author, wife and mother living in the beautiful country of South Africa. Now the book was not written regarding any culture or race. It is well known that we (South Africans) are part of the rainbow nation. We are a nation full of love, music and so many different cultures that portray mutual respect for one another and the feeling in general is that we embrace one another for who we are.
Woefully, to say South Africa was not seen in high regard by the rest of the world according to the media and newspapers. Yes, we have a lot of problems, maybe more than other countries, also we currently don’t have a good image, but being a part of this nation, this country it is evident to say that the majority of South Africans suffer and pray together.
We love and laugh, we are mothers and fathers, grandparents, aunts and uncles. All of us work hard and feel the economical knock. But we have heart, soul. Africa is in our blood, the dust and African air is like the skin on our bodies and breath in our lungs.
Living in Johannesburg or ‘Jozi’, most mothers have to work, because of the high standard of living, right? No, everyone feels the pressure, the bills heaping up. Not only in our country but all over the planet. In this we are the same.
Many mothers have to employ someone else to take care of our treasures, our kids while we are slaving away all day. Specific to where I stay, many friends and family members employ qualified and specialised people to take care of our children at home, while we embark on the journey early every morning to earn a living to give the best to our family.
My book is about such an amazing lady, named ‘Gogo’. In Zulu, one of South Africa’s native languages, ‘Gogo’ means grandmother. In my story, the nanny taking care of the little girl, Salome, is an elderly lady who has to work to support her children and grand children. In many homes in South Africa this is the case, many children stay home with the nanny during the day because they only go to preschool at the age of two to three years old. It is not always the case.
This lady, ‘Gogo’, in my story stays in a city, Soweto, just on the out skirts of Johannesburg. Everyday she gets up before dawn and gets into a taxi(small colourful mini buses), local transport in South Africa, to be in time so that the mother can leave for work. She stays with the little girl the whole day, plays with her, teaches her things and sometimes cleans the house as well. ‘Gogo’ is part of the family and she sacrifices her family time, her time and life to take care of the little girl. Salome and Gogo are best friends and do almost everything together.
“Gogo” is used as a universal figure representing all caregivers. For young children and even older folks. It is a very special heart that can put aside all personal interests and agenda’s to put someone else first for the whole day, everyday. These souls, special people are sent from heaven, to share love, compassion and kindness beyond measure.
Also in the spirit of recent events in South Africa, if you have seen the news and headlines. Some caregivers take advantage and abuse little children which is against my beliefs and makes me so angry. They are so innocent and loveable then adults hurt them and take advantage which was never theirs, no one’s to take.
There are numerous, countless stories of love and care and commitment of ‘Gogo’s’ giving their love and time to make our lives easier as mothers, fathers, to run our households in our absence. I am lucky to be blessed beyond measure to be a stay at home mother, but my sister in law has an amazing ‘Gogo’ who helps her with a toddler and a baby, as with so many other families in South Africa.
Salome & Gogo is a celebration that stretches beyond race and colour, it intertwines cultures and is universal to any ‘Gogo’. We need the older generation in the lives of the younger, they are beacons of light and wisdom to ensure the next generation excels us, do better, are better, love more, risk more, give more, care more. TO LEAP and build further on the foundation that has been laid.
Here is my ‘Gogo’ or grandmother who attended my book launch at Skoobs, Montecasino, Johannesburg. With her permission I added this pic. She is Anna Groenewald from Koster, and is 88 years old. This amazing lady knows when my kids have a birthday, and event at school, she has a Facebook account where she follows all her grandchildren in all their endeavours as well as an iPad. She also Skypes family in Australia from time to time.
My story is universal and personal. It hits home for so many people in South Africa. There are many stories out there, all unique in nature and of value, but ‘Salome & Gogo’ celebrates the influence the older generation has on the younger, the love and time they give to the little ones which across generations and cultures has always been valued by all.
Visit Skoobs, or buy my book on Amazon, and be a part of this amazing South African story where two friends share their worlds, love and friendship as they embark on an unforgettable journey.
Thank you for being a part of my story, for reading my posts. IF you are so privileged to still have a ‘Gogo’ of your own or an elderly figure in your life, treat them, bless them and appreciate them. They are priceless and are still of value and so easily forgotten by the fast pace culture of the 21st century.