Being a mother is tough; you have to be strict, but you also have to make sure your kids know you love them, according to Mum of the Year Awards nominee Siphathisiwe Moyo.
A native of Zimbabwe, and now living in a hostel in Salthill, Siphathisiwe has been through a lot since she moved to Ireland in 2008.
Separated from her kids for three years while she waited for them to join her, Siphathisiwe spiralled into depression, unable to get up in the mornings to shower, and spending her days crying, missing her three children.
But she found her strength and fought to get her children by her side: “It was tough. The fight I had was not a physical fight. I had no opponent. My fight was more like fighting a shadow because I was fighting to stay strong,” she says.
“I knew that they would follow me to Ireland, but I felt hopeless. I was depressed. I was crying all the time. But I had to fight that fight.”
Siphathisiwe’s life in Ireland has been a constant struggle but she has never given up hope for her or her three children, 17-year-old Victoria, 14-year-old Emmanuel and four-year-old Alexander.
And her efforts have certainly not gone unappreciated – months ago, Victoria nominated her loving mother for the Woman’s Way and Lidl Mum of the Year Award and was thrilled when she got the call saying her nomination was successful.
“I couldn’t believe it. She is such a fun girl to have. She came home and told me that months ago she had entered a competition online and forgotten about it,” Siphathisiwe explains.
“I just couldn’t believe it – especially coming from her. As a mother I can be tough, but it was nice to know she appreciates me.”
If Siphathisiwe wins the Mum of the Year Award, she will receive a €5,000 voucher courtesy of Lidl, among other luxury goodies and discounts.
“We joked about it but I told Victoria that even if we did win that, we don’t have a home to put all of those groceries,” she says, referring to the hostel in which she and her children are living.
“And she said maybe our papers will come through and we will have a house by then.”
Siphathisiwe is currently living on €19 a week and €9 for each child. Meals are provided in the hostel and residents are not allowed to cook their own food. Siphathisiwe, unfortunately, is allergic to some foods, such as red meat, which brings her out in a rash.
“So, I decided, how am I supposed to survive here? But you can’t expect them to do everything right. So, I bought a rice cooker and I cook meals in my room. I can’t keep fighting with them. And I don’t want to have to fight for food. I don’t want that.”
For more see page 6 of this week’s Galway City Tribune, download the Digital Edition here or get the Connacht Tribune app from iTunes or Google Play