Finding redemption in loss, love and gratitude.

One of my good friends asked me to write and share her story. For the first time since I started JAGWAT I interviewed someone, wrote and published under my name as she specifically asked not to be published under JAGWAT INCOGNITO. I’ve always said she has a great story that would inspire many more. It’s a beautiful story of love, loss, Grace and overcoming and it has truly touched my heart and inspired me, I hope it will do the same for you all.

“I met *Sam in October 1999, I was doing a project at a friends house and he was outside washing a car. He asked for my name and I lied and said my name was Zoe, the typical “playing hard to get” game. I couldn’t get him out of my mind, I wasn’t sure what it was about him that intrigued me. After a few days he came to see me at my house and things took off as friendly, after some time he asked me to be his girlfriend and I said yes. The relationship continued and he would come see me everyday, I introduced him to my parents as my friend and they were okay with this. We went to high school together but when he turned 17 he dropped out to find work so he could support his family. Ours was considered a weird match, this English speaking girl dating a “Cape Flats” guy – I knew that my heart was his though, right from the beginning.

In 2002 we decided to be “naughty”, we were each others firsts. I was 15 years old and he was 17 years old. I started getting sick and my mom took me to the doctor, he examined me and said nothing was wrong.  I still felt sick, Sam took me to the clinic for a second opinion and I was informed that I was 11 weeks pregnant – at 15 years old!! We were given options and eventually transferred and I was given counselling for an abortion. I went back home and didn’t tell anyone about this. Sam’s mom picked it up and she went to tell my parents about this. I saw my life and future being decided right in front of me and I had no say, I just stood there.

My Mom : “There is no way *Sara is keeping this baby

My Dad : “But its murder”

Sam’s Mom : ” I am washing my hands off this

Ultimately the decision was my moms. I still remember the day, it was a Thursday appointment at 08:00am, Sam was right by my side. There were 10 ladies in the waiting room, they were all grown ladies, I was the youngest. We were all called in one by one, when it was my turn I was given a pill to put under my tongue, I immediately felt the pain – I screamed and asked for pain killers. When I went into theatre it was dark and empty, it was almost a reflection of how I felt at that moment – dark and empty. When I left I felt the blood on my legs, I got home and my dad was sitting with friends – he gave me one look and looked down with a heavy sigh. I went to bath, I scrubbed and I scrubbed. I felt so dirty, I wanted to get rid of everything, the pain, the shame, the guilt – I wanted to scrub it all away. My mom came and asked me to give back the ring she had given me years ago, “I am writing you off” she said.  My dad banned Sam from seeing me, a few weeks passed, he was persistent and came to my house everyday, eventually my dad couldn’t keep us apart. Sam doted on me, he picked me up from school everyday, he provided my toiletry and watered me like a flower. I eventually matriculated but because of financial constraints I had to get a job.

A year after I matriculated – 19 years old – I found out I was pregnant and on the 11th of May 2007 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. After two months I went back to work and got permanent employment. I was still staying with my parents and Sam would come to see the baby everyday and whenever we had to part ways the baby would cry for him. In 2011 we decided to get our own place and to get married. 1 October 2011 we moved in together and rented a separate entrance and on the 22nd of October 2011 we got married. I asked my father to give me away on my wedding day and he refused, a day before my wedding we got into a heated argument and he eventually agreed to walk me down the aisle. In 2013 I fell pregnant and while pregnant Sam lost his mother, my relationship with my parents was okay and Sam’s sisters disliked me. On the 19th of April 2014 I gave birth to an absolutely stunning baby girl with my husband by my side. After giving birth I dozed off and all I could hear was Sam screaming “Don’t you fall asleep, please stay with me“.

We decided to fast for a month for our own house and on the 1st of June 2017 we moved into our own house, just as we were moving in our furniture I came across a small cross on the door, I picked it up and immediately felt at home. Sam and I have been together for 19 years and it still feels new everyday. When he drops me at the taxi rank, he messages me the taxi number plate everyday, we call each other everyday and he still waters me like a flower.

With this man, we’ve loved, we’ve lost, we’ve been rejected and abandoned but most of all, we’ve received Grace. It hasn’t been an easy road but it has helped us rely only on God and each other. We don’t have everything we want but we do have everything that we need and that is each other, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


**Sam – Not his real name.

**Sara – Not his real name.



Published by Sibahle Teyise

Mholo, Hello, Groete, Sawubona, Lotjhani, Dumela, Ndaa, Avuxeni! I’m Sibahle Teyise, JAGWAT founder and head content writer. I have an Undergraduate Degree from UCT majoring in Public Policy and Literature, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma from UCT specialising in Marketing, Events Management and Business Communication. I am an author under construction, working on my book to be published soon- "When It Happens For Girls Like Us". I started JAGWAT in 2017, following the success of my personal blog - Tales Of The Mute. The inspiration to start JAGWAT came after hearing the sad stories of women being murdered on a daily basis, the violence against women as well as the many stories of women taking their own lives because of suffering in silence. JAGWAT provides a platform for women to take back the power by sharing their stories on a public central platform and with this, they show other women that they are not alone. I believe that when women stand together great things happen. No women should suffer in silence and the more we speak up as women and create a sisterhood and support group, the more powerful we can become. I am passionate about communities with women from disadvantaged backgrounds and JAGWAT supports Women Initiatives as well as making a difference in various schools from the township by offering assistance to learners in the form of mentorship and tutoring. I am a self-proclaimed book-worm and although I am a shy person, I am a motivational public speaker. I was heavily bullied in primary as well as high school and I am extremely passionate about Anti-Bullying campaigns and initiatives. I read, I write, I gym, I pray, I cycle, , I hike, I run, and pretty much everything in between. I am a weight loss motivator having lost 16kg in the past 2 years, which is quite an achievement for someone who can’t cook. (Thank GOD for food that can easily be boiled!!) I am a firm believer that an empowered women can empower other women and JAGWAT aims to be that platform for Women Empowerment. On a lighter note: I have the worst music playlist in the history of playlists.

One thought on “Finding redemption in loss, love and gratitude.

  1. This is such a beautiful and inspiring story Sibahle. What a brave woman. Thanks for sharing and give *Sara such a big hug from me.


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