Mpho Makofola is an inspired storyteller and creator of the Young Mothers Series, a platform that grew out of her very interesting and addictive blog, I Am My Own Gift. Through the blog, she has created a safe haven for young mothers to feel accepted and loved.
Mpho’s blog in a way validates the worth of young mothers as valuable members of society. It creates a sense of community, belongingness, and sisterhood as well as a safe space for young mothers to share their stories about the joys and hurdles of existing in a world that largely discriminates against them.
Tell us about yourself, who is Mpho?
Mpho Makhafola is a linguist who studied at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). She is also a blogger and an educator at an all-girls school in Pretoria.
Her greatest passions in life include writing and inspiring young women through her blog posts and being surrounded by strong women who in turn inspire and motivate her to be great. Mpho loves a good laugh and is absolutely a girly-girl who loves having her nails did and her face beat 🙂
What is that one tipping point that caused you to create the Young Mothers Series on your blog? And are you yourself a young mum?
What inspired the Young Mothers Series was all the young mothers I have the privilege to have met and engaged with. Many if not all of us have a friend or family member who is/was a young mom and I noticed just how negative society is towards these young women and how falling pregnant young has been and is still such a taboo across all races and groups.
This really broke my heart because I believe that being a young mom is a challenge in itself. Why add on to that by hiding your pregnancy and loathing oneself just because society is so negative? Why not accept of one of life’s greatest gifts to women, motherhood? So the continued judgement and ostracism of young mothers pushed me to seek these young women out, document their journeys to motherhood and give them a voice to say, “Yes world, I fell pregnant young, but I am still capable of achieving my goals and pushing myself to get my education and so much more. A baby doesn’t mean the end of my life and all that is good in it”.
And no, I am not a young mom myself. I initially thought this would make it hard to capture the stories of these young mom’s realistically without watering them down because I “can’t relate”. I really tried by all means to treat each feature as a new experience and always remembering that these young women deserved their truth’s to be shared as raw and beautiful as they are.The Young Mothers Series helps young moms with whatever they are struggling with at the moment Click To Tweet
What is your favourite thing about the blog?
It has to be the impact that it has had on strangers, on the featured mommy’s and even on me. Some of the responses I got still get me emotional. I had no idea of the struggles and emotional trauma some of these young moms go through because the world is so unkind to them. I mean some even had family turn against them, partners desert them and literally had no support at all throughout their pregnancies. And I’ve always been so humbled to hear that my blog has resonated with someone or given them hope in knowing that they are not alone.
Besides the young mother series, I was also lucky to feature a number of amazing personalities like Fareida Metsileng (pharoahfi), a young poet Thuto Gaasenwe and I also did a blog post for NUK and Artemis brands in relation to the young mother’s series.
What obstacles have you overcome in order to be the kind of woman who’s capable of reaching out to uplift other women?
I’ve always said that it’s hard being a woman, we go through mountains of struggles and obstacles are constantly put in our way to break us yet we still show unbelievable strength and manage somehow to put on that lipstick and fight on.
I’ve had my fair share of challenges, struggled a lot with self-image and body issues, insecurities, relationships and all of that negativity seeped into all areas of my life. My blog started out as a place to vent about my relationship frustrations and how hurt I was at that point. But God had better plans for my hard times and I managed to still heal and share on myself whilst healing women out there who shared some if not all of my sentiments.
I also was raised in an underprivileged area so I always felt the need to fit in with friends and be someone I wasn’t, especially in high school. I had to really dig deep to find myself and be comfortable with who I was and where I came from and not be ashamed of myself and blame myself for things I had no control over.
So I saw the need for the upliftment of women especially in our personal lives, we are often so ashamed to speak about our hurts. I decided to basically tear myself apart and to share deeply into my life in order to piece other women together one blog post at a time.I saw the need for the upliftment of women especially in our personal lives - Mpho Makhafola Click To Tweet
What inspires you to continue your work every day?
It has to be my admiration for women. I am absolutely amazed when I see women pioneering in life and breaking down barriers to achieve and be phenomenal. I just light up inside when I see a fellow sister making waves.
And of course, the thought that this blog post I write could help someone with whatever they are struggling with at the moment and give them a new outlook on life.
What else do you do outside of blogging?
Besides blogging I am an educator, a student and a lover of life!
What message would you like to share with young mothers who’re dealing with backlash for being who they are?
Ha-ha! This is actually the question I always asked the young mothers, but to her, I would say…YES! You’re a young mom but that doesn’t mean you’re incapable. Your child can only mean you fight harder to reach your goals not that you give up on them.
YES society will not make it easy for you, it’ll probably kick you when you’re down. But there is strength and so much beauty in your journey, nobody is more suited for this path than you! You’ll look back on this time and be proud of the woman you became. Fight on heroine!
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.