When my parents got divorced during the 2nd world war, we children were placed in an orphanage; I was only four years old and my brother and sister even younger, and from then on we were shunted from place to place, never really having any quality home life, even after my father re-married. We were sent to boarding schools, hostels
and ten different schools before the final stay in one hostel through Senior School where I matriculated.
This was the only place I felt accepted and safe, as the holidays at home were often ruined because the adults were heavy drinkers and used to fight violently.
It was not surprising that I got married at the age of 19, looking for love and security, but over the years the pattern repeated itself. My husband was often absent for long weeks at a time, leaving me to cope with the ever-growing family. We were always short of money, and it was always “my fault” that things were as bad as they were.
Being in an Unhappy Marriage
My husband prevented me from taking employment, but I eventually defied him and went to work.
This never lasted very long as he intimidated me with threats and I would give in to him and give up the job.
There was always enough money for his drinking and whatever he wanted, but not enough to pay the bills, or even support his wife and children. He was a very hard man, hard on his children and I..
He started to beat the older children for nothing, and used to threaten me for getting between them. I began to fear for the lives of my children, and when the two youngest were 4 and 5 years old, I became aware that he was involved with other women and that was the final straw.
I started to see that this mental abuse, and the physical abuse
of the children would only get worse.
Being poor in the true sense of not having much money was not the issue; but being poor in spirit, living in fear and mistrust, lacking in the ability to provide my children with vision and hope for a better future,
and a peaceful life was the real issue.
We lived in a very small town in South West Africa (Namibia today) and there were no facilities for counselling. So I steeled myself to confront him and sued for divorce.
I contacted my sister who lived in Roodepoort, and decided to leave him and move to the Transvaal, putting as much distance between him and us as I could.
There were also better prospects for earning a decent wage
to support the family.
We came by train, with what we could carry, and had only sent a couple of boxes of possessions ahead. The children were very frightened and confused, and I remember having to play games and sing to them,
calming their fears, and promising them we would be OK. All I could do was pray that the Lord would guide me and protect us.
Taking back my life
So there we were, on the 6th December 1972 arriving at Park Station to start a whole new life. A young mother with 5 children aged 4 to 13 years old, with no job, no house, no furniture, no car,
but with the courage born of desperation to build a future for her family.
We moved in with my sister for a very short while, I had a few temporary jobs, then started in my first permanent job, selling Pianos and Organs. That was the beginning of a career in Sales, which helped us to not only survive, but improve our standard of living. Within a few years we bought our own house, and started to see that the change had definitely been for the better. We had almost no maintenance or support from their father, only R20 per child per month, (nothing for me!) but we always had enough to eat and managed to stay out of serious trouble, financially, and otherwise.
I married again some years later, but my children were very independent and used to being without a father-figure.
They accepted the change and were glad for me.
As the years passed, the children grew up, and today they are successful and all have
positive, winning attitudes, which they instil into their own children.
They know that the love of God and family, mutual respect, trust and hard work can overcome most difficulties in life and that abuse, mental or physical has no place in their lives.
On a Mission to Empower
Having said all that, I can only thank the Lord for his guidance and provision.
Now the task of uplifting and inspiring others to take control of their lives and empower themselves is what I am presently doing
as a Sales Leader for AVON.
Selling is in my Blood! The challenges dare me to always do better, and with the AVON Sales Leadership programme you are not doing it for yourself or by yourself, but the rewards are there.
I joined Avon as a Representative in 1998 and became a Sales Leader with my own team of Representatives 6 years ago.
Today there are over 150 Representatives on my team alone, and more than 400 of us, which includes Downline Sales leaders with their Teams
under my wing!
We call ourselves “The Eagle Team” because we fly high, see far and always get our prey! The success of my Team has elevated me to the TOP ACHIEVERS CLUB this past two years, where AVON really spoils us!
AVON’s mission is to empower women and this is very close to my heart. I would love every woman here, who feels that there is no hope, to take courage, the courage that is within, and know that there is a better future for you. Take that first step, and then the second,
and keep going with your heart set on your dreams and goals.
Never, never, never give up. Dreams and goals become reality!
You can do it, because you are strong. Empower yourself, take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and put your faith in God.