It’s My Birthday!

My mom & I back in 1997

It’s my birthday today and I think I’m allowed to blog about myself hey….Please allow me.

I can’t believe I’m now 31 years old, it’s amazing how time flies.  I was 25 years yesterday!  Anyways, I used to hate birthday…let’s just say I hated the idea of getting older and everything that comes with it like wrinkles, weight gain etc.  Now that I’m older I just love them and get excited everytime it is my birthday.  I was telling a friend that maybe it is because we look at life around us and now that we are older we have an appreciation for life and the years we have on this earth.  Young people are dying everyday one is lucky to get to 30!  So I guess that’s what changed my perspective regarding birthdays and getting older.

My mom always writes a poem on my birthday whether it’s in an sms form or in a birthday card.  My favourite poem she wrote for me was when I turned 21…ten years ago.  I just relocated to Cape Town and I was hustling working as casual at a restaurant earning R30 per day. 

Back to the poem…. I don’t think my mom knows I still have the card…It’s a beautiful poem and I’ll always cherish it, the words, the love and the time that went into putting all the emotions into a beautiful message… I thought I’d share it with you.  It goes like this….

When I remember

The day on which you were born,

The pain and suffering

When giving birth to a first-born child

What came out of the womb

Was nothing else but You


I took you in my arms

Looked at the new born child

My breasts were overflowing

With milk so new to be formed

In those virgin cisterns


The teat was slightly pushed

In that little mouth

That opened for the first time

To swallow milk from a mom


How nice it was to mom

To feel an infant suckling

Drawing its first nourishment

The first step to trudge

The journey of growth

That leads to the fulfilment

Of the purpose of your existence


Up and up you grew

At childhood amusing those around you

No one could taste your food

As you rejected tasted food

Before it be given to you

All laughed as you uttered

“Uze ungayivi” Warning those who would like to taste

And “Hayi , hayi andiyifuni, kuba wena uyivile”


Life hasn’t been without hassles

Nothing was perfect in your upbringing

But God kept you through all nasty moments

Life is now in your hands

Forget not that Jesus Christ is Lord


To:  Thulie

My First-Born Child

From:  Your Loving Mom





About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 8 )

  • Tami

    Happy Birthday Thuli! What a lovely post and a lovely poem from you Mom. Clearly you got your talent for writing from her 😉 xx

  • Happy birthday, Thuli. Your mom wrote beautifully.

    • Thanks! She is good and I’ve been trying to get her to write more…

  • phumla

    Oh, how thrilled I am to learn that u have been keeping that b /card for ten years. I have taken your siblings to Spur to enjoy your day. May those close to u hug you for me. We love u. Again I say, Happy Birthday, You Are Loved!!!

    • Hope you enjoyed! I’ve been told to post some of your poems more because you were soo happy! Lol! Love you lots!

  • Lira

    Hi Thuli

    Happy Birthday Thuli…Ohhhh I am so touched..Hope you enjoyed your day and keeping making mom proud!! you truly lucky to reach the age and lucky to have her…

    • Hi Lira!

      Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment! She was so excited when she saw the post and realised I still kept the card. 🙂 It was so sweet! Keep well!

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