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The Magical Power of Mothers

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

© Jacque Njeri

In this article, I will address a complex and recurring theme within Kemetic (black) communities, it is the Power of the Mother in its negative polarity. I would like to point out that this problem is also present in other communities, but I am specifically interested in the Kemetic Nations, in the repercussions of slavery, colonization on ours and more particularly on the parent-child relationship which is no longer what it was before the colonial invasion. I will concentrate more particularly on the Mother. I will illustrate my point by revealing to you how my conflictual relationship with my mother deeply affected the construction of my identity as a person as well as my femininity, how I managed to understand the mechanism that triggered this imbalance and the way I became resilient. This article is complementary to the article entitled The Symbolism Greatness of Fathers.


It was important for me to approach this subject from the angle of a child's perspective towards his mother and to include two Kemetic women in the writing of this article. These include Idil O. Kalif, eminent sociologist, project manager and out-of-school accompanist whom I met in Season VII (2017) at Mémoires d'Encrier during Felwin Sarr's visit to Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) and Jennifer Sidney, brilliant author-poetess whom I met during the presentation of her first playwright in Season VIII (2018). I wanted them to participate in writing this article because of the relationship they have with their mother, their stories echoing mine.


Kugaruka Nsoromma Yahmessou Àṣẹ Sankofa Meri-Imana © Odile Silva

Womb life

When my mother confided to me the problem related to the physical and emotional absence of my father, she also mentioned to me that when she announced to him that she was pregnant, he explicitly asked her to abort me (according to my father, I was as much desired by him as by my mother. He assured me on pain of being struck down that he never wanted my existence to be compromised). This abortion request (if true) was one of the elements constituting my mother's second wound in her relationship with my father, the first being that of having been unable to be in a relationship with him. This formulation contributed to my rejection because he perceived me as a burden he did not want to take care of. This rejection of my person was felt by her as a betrayal. Betrayal is associated with dark emotions such as sadness, disappointment, feelings of abandonment, anger and despair. All of these emotions arose in my mother during her pregnancy at a time when she was most vulnerable. A pregnant woman needs physical, psychic, material and spiritual support. The mother must be surrounded by good vibrations and must not undergo any annoyance. In my case, certain fundamental criteria were not taken into consideration. Having integrated this betrayal and knowing that the child feels all the emotions of his mother and experiences everything she experiences, my consciousness, my unconscious and my subconscious have integrated these painful moments.


I grew up in Yahmessou [Côte d'Ivoire], one of the fields par excellence of French neo-colonialism, with two women, my mother and my sister, both from Uburundi (Burundi). My mother knew very well that she was in a situation of survival because she had to raise two children, without the fathers of her children, whom she had to take care of and without her family to support her. She also knew that we were her greatest treasure and it was in us that she decided to put her trust. Aware that education is one of the fundamental keys to a successful life, my mother invested in us by making sure that we went to private schools in order to be very well supervised and to receive a high quality education. . We weren't rich, far from it, that didn't prevent her from believing that her children were, and still are, her greatest success and that all the suffering she endured, she would manage to overcome with us. because she would recognize herself in our respective successes. She was convinced that if we attended public schools, the quality of the education we would have received would be average or even mediocre quality, in particular because of the strikes which are legion in the Yahmessou school system and which are exacerbated when election periods approach. My sister attended Notre-Dame, a school reserved for girls at the time, and renowned for its rigor and excellence in the same way as Saint-Paul my primary school who was reserved for boys before it became coeducational. Both establishments are located in the business district of the city of Abidjan, the Plateau. My mother knew that her chances of success at Yahmesou were slim because she was a foreigner in a country that was not her own, a single woman with two children who did not work on a regular basis.Intelligent, vigilant, conscientious and determined, my mother prepared meticulously in the greatest secrecy for our departure for Canada, thus enabling her to ensure a better life for both herself and her children. I am deeply grateful to her for insisting on investing in our education so that we are educated people in order to excel in our respective businesses. I also thank her for having allowed us to change geographical areas in order to have new horizons in order to prevent our lives from withering away in Yahmessou and being saturated. My mother, my great protector, was guided by her strength of character which I inherited, her unwavering desire to see her children shine and by her conviction that Imana (Supreme Being in Kirundi/Kinyarwanda) and our ancestors were with us in her quest for happiness.

Mother-Child (Son & Daughter)

My first conflicts with my mother began in childhood. She told me at times that I was a difficult child (go figure why) and that I was resistant to what she wanted to pass on to me. Since she was not predisposed to active listening, she was unable to understand the recalcitrant child that I was, a child who wanted to follow his own path regardless of the path of her vision of success she wanted me to follow . She saw trought the little boy by whom she had to undergo the repeated telephone humiliations of my father who was angry with her for having kept me. Consciously and unconsciously, she made me feel all this bitterness about the child that I was, especially since she often told me that I looked like my father, the man who made her suffer. Our mother-child relationship took a significant turn when she discovered that I am a Guardians of The Gates (LGTBQIA+). Imagine how she could feel about herself to have a child she loved so much, whom she absolutely wanted to keep despite the father's reluctance and knowing that he is not like the other boys. She must have said to herself that she would be the laughing stock of the neighborhood for having had a child like me and that my father would have got some reasons by reminding her of having had a child so different. She did her best to erase this femininity that she hated even though she loved me with all her heart, that didn't stop her from throwing terrible words at me that I still remember. She did not realize that by wanting to break this Sacred Feminine and make me masculine in her own way, she was at the same time breaking my wonderful dreams and any emancipatory desire that would be contrary to the image she had of me in the future. Our relationship deteriorated considerably as I grew older and had became aware of my kemetic essence, the spirituality of my ancestors, the falsification of our history by the White Men, the traumas linked to slavery/colonialism, the heavy sequels imbued in the DNA inside of us, the crucial role of Women and Guardians of The Gates in our societies. How could she recognize herself in me? Knowing that she is a devout Christian-Catholic with a deep reverence for the Virgin Mary all combined with a mainly Belgian colonial indoctrination. I know that her love for me is powerful, that this love vibrates with the sound of our language Kirundi and that the intention with which she prays is to ensure that I am in the Light of the Cosmos of the Divine thus granting me the right to be as much his son as his daughter and to now officiate as the Child of Resurgence.


Idil O. Kalif © Noire Mouliom

Indiscriminately, black women are often held responsible for the erosion of family ties within black/African communities, diasporic or not. It is also relevant to point out that because the majority of single parents are women, the inequities experienced by black/African mothers are deeply exacerbated when they take the path of migration and/or immigration. The words that I will chain in this text written to support the precious work of Kugaruka crystallize the fruit of my experience as the daughter of immigrant, African and divorced parents. More specifically, I would focus on my experience as a child/daughter who grew up alongside a single-parent African mother who, somehow, fought to make her way in a world with little consideration for her realities as single-parent black women in a diasporic context.

Cards on the table | Causes versus Consequences

First, let's lay the cards on the table: I am the daughter of an African man who deserted his children in the Canadian cold. My mother, who decided to join her husband (my father) in Canada, left Djibouti with her two young children so that the family could evolve under one roof. Unfortunately, my father wanted to share himself dishonestly with lots of women, making him a deeply unfaithful man. Fortunately for her, my mother is a self-respecting person. She therefore filed for divorce very shortly after our arrival in Canada, in Montreal more specifically. As an African woman and immigrant newly arrived in Quebec, she quickly took on her shoulders parental responsibilities that were beyond comprehension: three dependent children in a country that she had barely tamed, where she knew almost no one . The request for divorce was understood as an affront and a capital insult by my father. For this reason, he makes the conscious choice to desert his family, without looking back. From then on, my mother automatically became the sole head of the family in the house. That being said, when it comes to talking about black single mothers and some devastating realities for communities, let's keep in mind that these mothers are rarely the cause of family ills. These single mothers often experience the consequences of patriarchy, the choices and actions of men to the detriment of women (and children). In the specific case of my mother, my father was her intimate oppressor.

Love, motherhood and control

How did this immigration adventure affect my relationship with my mother? I must say that even before her experience of single parenthood and immigration, my mother was a woman with whom it was in no way possible to negotiate the lack of respect. As a black and African woman, she was the first model for me in terms of consistency and self-respect. However, things got tough in our "mother/daughter" relationship when I in turn demanded that respect be served to me as a child. Often, when mothers don't have the space to reflect on themselves in order to heal from their own traumas, they tend to want to project onto their daughters toxic ideals that have nothing to do with their children. Once puberty set in, the tense relationship that I ended up having with my mother was mainly due to the fact that she insisted on controlling my thoughts, my actions, my decisions and even my love affairs. Indeed, it was as if the failures that haunted her needed to be tempered through my life. Of course, the values ​​related to independence and autonomy that she herself had transmitted to me from childhood did not allow such control over my person. Consequence: the beautiful complicity that I had with my sweet mother as a child quickly becomes a site of perpetual conflicts from adolescence.

Differential/preferential treatment and theft from childhood

Now in my thirties, I have a lot of hindsight about my relationship with my mother. My Long-term therapy and my various spiritual practices allowed me to detach myself from problems that were not my responsibility to solve. Today, I can even say that I have enormous compassion for my mother and her story. This story, without being completely mine, is part of me. Because let's face it, when a single mother tastes distress and mental instability, the development of her children is almost automatically compromised. My brothers were also affected by my parents' divorce. But the fact remains that I am convinced that the pressure was greater on me: his only daughter. In her understanding, as an African girl/woman to whom she gave birth, I had to support her and be present for my brothers at all times. Frustrated by this theft of childhood, I rebelled against our family culture which intoxicated me daily. One day, in order to tame my anger, she said to me: "Idil, if you end up in need, the chances of a man helping you are almost nil. However, if your brothers end up in need, several women will be there to help them". This strong argument sought to make me accept the fact that she was harder on me than on my two brothers. When I was young, I quickly understood that my brothers did not face the same expectations as a son/child. They were entitled to have access to more support and consideration. Of course, this differential, preferential and unbalanced “girl/boy” treatment within the family nucleus was also part of the inconsistencies that inflamed our mother/daughter relationships every day.

Maternity | love and dissonance

Still, my mother has always been perceived by those around her and her family as an extraordinary woman. She defied all the rules while living in Djibouti and always ended up where no one expected her: a woman of fire. In the silence, many admired him deeply for his strength of character and his casual way of charting his course. I still have in mind the image of my mother who studied in the evening to finish her university work while we were going to elementary school in Montreal. In Canada, with a very limited network and few financial means, my mother finished university and reinvented herself as a professional. She manages to accomplish all this with three dependent children and an ex-husband who was conspicuous by her absence. As a woman, I owe her my love for work and my professional audacity, certainly. Very young, she definitely showed me the way to assertive agency. However, year after year, again and again, his expectations of me were unreasonable. My personal decisions rarely embraced what she wanted for my future. I had studied at the Sorbonne, paid for my own university studies, held important professional positions and was once in love with a man who fulfilled me. Nothing to do; neither my degrees, nor my career, nor my ability to generate money independently, nor my respectful and loving partner lived up to his expectations. The woman, my mother, had become a person incapable of gentleness and tenderness with the beings she loved most in the world: her children. How to explain such a relational evolution between a mother and her daughter? The untreated traumas of adults bruised by disappointment, quite simply.

Become an adult, despite everything

I love my mother. This feeling will probably never leave me. In part, I also understand that the tensions that were evolving within our relationship stemmed from an inability to dissociate the pain of a woman in the face of her daughter who, all the same, loved her father. Without being my dad, the adult relationship I had with him bothered my mother and for a long time I paid the dear price. I would conclude by saying that mothers who have not healed from their marital wounds often forget that this dysfunctional energy travels to their children. For this reason, the love that a child may have for a person who has been introduced to him as a parent is normal. This same love can sometimes be perceived as a betrayal for the parent who still hasn't healed his wounds. Especially following a divorce, in front of children who have not chosen their circumstances, parenthood is an exercise in continual introspection that requires humility and benevolence. Now old enough to become a mother myself if I wanted to, I understand the great importance of taking the time to channel your own emotions.


Jennifer Sidney photographed by Salim Jacaman

Common entanglements

Along this sensational road, full of complex decisions to be made but luminous called Life, I have come to the poignant conclusion and this, to my dismay, that the difficulties, which lie within the love-rebellion relationship that I have with my mother are hostilities that exist within the mother-daughter relationships of the many women around me. Therefore, I am writing this manifesto on behalf of a community, question of healing the wounds, relating to our potomitan, together. All for one and one for all!

Little boy will grow up

One of the greatest annoyances in our African and Caribbean communities is the lack of responsibilities attributed to boys in some homes where the mentality of yesteryear reigns, which wants girls to have their place in the kitchen and the boys, in everything outside the house. Boys have the right to play, and girls must learn to become women from an early age by bathing their dolls and serving tea with specially designed porcelain tableware for girls. The total absence of boys in household chores creates lazy, macho, misogynistic, lazy men who take everything for granted and these eternal spoiled children depend on women to function; to live. These same women, who accept their objectionable behavior, are called upon to become mothers and they will one day proclaim themselves to be "as much mom as dad" because in the first place, they chose useless men as parents, and it is not theirs to redo the education of these men, with vegetative reflexes, with whom they share their lives and who poison their daily lives. It is a process that begins in childhood. To this effect, when the chromosomes of my child's father and mine had merged to form the wonderful boy whom Nature had entrusted us to take care of, I took the opportunity of this blessing to break enormous generational curses. My son is currently five years old and already at this age, he has chores, he picks up his toys, makes his bed, puts the cutlery on the table, puts his plate in the sink when he finishes eating, peels the pods of garlic when I ask him, bakes cakes, lifts shopping bags, plays in my hair. I involve him in this way because one day, I would be called upon to no longer be there physically and he will have to be resourceful. He will have to provide for himself, create a healthy environment in his living space so I provide him with these tools so that he flourishes with courage.

The mom/dad woman

I wouldn't beat around the bush: too often, the woman who chooses to play the role of father as much as that of mother has this way of letting the ego horribly direct her emotions. The reasons may seem conceivable to prevent a man from exercising his duties towards his child: the bitterness linked to a sentimental disappointment or frankly dehumanizing humiliations suffered during pregnancy may prove to be strong justifications for eclipsing a man out of her sight. The downside in this action, which is too elementary, is that in this specific context, we are facing an equilateral triangle with three different relationships at each end: the woman-man relationship, the mother-child relationship, and the father-child relationship. Sabotaging an entire relationship due to emotional upheavals that we cannot control can be destructive in a person's life. Deciding whether a man "deserves" to be in the life of the child you are carrying, conjuring up his accompaniment in the psychic, emotional, intellectual, physical, and social development of this child, conceiving this presence as an earned reward depending on the mood of the ego, is an aberrant error resulting from a narcissistic perversion. The women of our communities must accept that being a father is a duty, a sacred mission from the divine, a celestial mandate where the man holds an exceptional place to get involved in the life of his child. My mother left my father when she was pregnant with me for what appears to be sentimental causes. I saw him three times before reaching the age of majority and I reconnected with him when I was 21. However, we both lived on the same small island of Montreal, he took steps to gain access to me, his daughter, but my mother, a mom/dad woman, made sure that our paths did not cross, and I don't blame her in the least. She acted with the limited resources she had at the time, the restricted mentalities that framed her so I can only have empathy for her approach and tip my hat to her for having done her best. I blamed my dad. For not fighting for me, for our side of the triangle, for dropping the case. To have waited until I became an adult to restore his image... In my turn, I became pregnant, and the father of my son offended me, as it is not possible to imagine hurting a woman who carries life within her... He had his motives; I don't blame him anymore. I remained serene and glorious because from a very young age, when I served tea to my stuffed animals with my porcelain tableware sets, I made a promise to myself: that of not sacrificing a relationship between my child and her/his father. As of today, I have not kept the woman-man relationship with him, but my son has a relationship with his father which belongs to him, which does not concern me, despite the ignominies that were perpetually thrown in my face during the three seasons of my fabulous gestation.


A mother who exudes happiness is like the Caribbean Sea in the month of March: it is fresh, sweet, salty and it embraces us with comforting and velvety waves. A mother's anger should be commendable, like the stormy currents of the sea where the waves subside offering a vehement caress as warnings. And not disastrous like the devastation caused by a tsunami, the Japanese word designating a seismic sequence that can lead to a tidal wave. There is a great danger in our communities and it resides in the tsunami of the heart, in this lamentable way that certain mothers have of allowing themselves, because they have brought a being into the world, to destroy it, that is to say, by using words or gestures that reflect their sufferings as well as their alienating programming in order to viciously dump them on their child, for whom they consider to have asphyxiated their fountains of youth. What is even more astonishing is that following the disaster they caused, they manage to continue their lives as if nothing had happened, doing no introspection, taking no account of the heavy existential upheavals caused by their unworthy actions/words… On the other hand, what is phenomenal in the fact of coming from generation Y, it is this grace which we must understand that it is imperative for us to develop the character traits which would have rescued our mothers. It is this ability to repeat itself, like a mantra, that this toxicity does not belong to us and above all, we are not the cause. It is the consequences of their own decisions that they must face, and we millennial women are their mirrors. We grew up as an extension of the post-slavery sequels. We were beaten hard, whipped, kicked, kneeled, insulted, and faced daily with gratitude and appreciation. The school of life has given us no gifts. Throughout our journeys and the relationships, we cultivate with our mothers, we pick up piece by piece the ruins of our internal temples. We appease the desolation marked by the tsunami, and we manufacture, by means of the kintsugi spirit, a Japanese method of repair using gold dust, majestic pyramids welded in our virtues of peace, light, wisdom, harmony, love, faith, and forgiveness.

*potomitan: It’s a term in Haitian creole to designate the central position of a column in a temple. I use it in this context to designate mothers as the center of everything.


Each of the stories you have read resonates with a part of the Melaninized Beings that we are, in this case Women. I therefore offer you resolutions based on the Power of the Child, strongly inspired by my personal experiences and which I hope will ensure that your souls will be greatly edified.

1 - The Power of the Mirror Child: the mirror child within us knows consciously or unconsciously that our mothers see themselves through us. We must have the ability to accurately detect what reveals about us and what corresponds to her personality and character in order to differentiate ourselves from her and not be her mirror by being an extension of her person. The mirror child must have the ability to see his/her own reflection and not the reflection of what his/her mother would like him/her to be according to the image that she has of herself and the image of the child she bore.

2 - The Power of the Child-Parent: the child-parent who is in us has not yet realized that he/she is a parent in the making and that his/her relationship with his/her mother will be decisive on the relationship he/she will have with her children as a mother if she is a woman or with the mother of his children if he is a man. This is also equivalent for Guardians of The Gates (LGBTQIA+). The child-parent knows full well what harm he/she has suffered and will make sure not to reproduce it on his/her own children, which in absolute terms is almost impossible because there will always be residues and/or other errors that can be committed by wanting to avoid repeating the same errors. The primary objective is to do as less as possible and to accurately prepare the child who will become a parent.

3 - The Power of the Ingenious Child: the ingenious child who is in us is aware of the Innate Gifts-Natural Talents which he/she has been gifted by the Universe and begins to gather the elements which could play in his favour. He/She is gifted in his/her chosen field and no longer seeks this validation of his/her mother, whom he/she has managed to get rid of, thus allowing him/her to use his/her ingenuity and shine in the Infinity of the Cosmos.

4 - The Power of the Cosmic Child: the cosmic child within us is aware of its spiritual essence and its incarnation as a Melaninated Being. He knows that his mother has great love for him, he also knows that the latter on many occasions has not been able to adequately demonstrate this love when the child shows himself in a new aspect. The cosmic child knows that he was reincarnated with a precise soul mission, the veil of oblivion not allowing him to remember why he/she chose this woman to be his/her progenitor.

5 - The Power of the Insightful Child: the insightful child realizes that the torments his mother inflicted on him are only the corollary of the after-effects of slavery and colonization which have reverberated from generation to generation. He manages to detect the mechanisms of alienation, as complex as they are diverse, which continue to afflict us. One of its favorite weapons is the knowledge that our ancestors have transcribed in writing and who is encoded in our genetic memory.

6 - The Power of the Child Healer: the child healer is the one who uses this knowledge in order to carry out a major transfiguration at the level of his mind, his heart and the inner cosmos which inhabits him. The child healer is aware that his extraordinary capacity for resilience, which is specific to the Kemetic Nations, will allow him to devote himself to healing souls through the use of the Innate Gifts – Natural Talents which have been granted to him.

7 - The Resurgence Power of the Child: the Resurgence Child is an expert in his or her niche. He/She is the one who will be the guarantor of the heritage of his/her ancestors, including that of his/her mother. His/her soul will be restored by the fulfillment of his/her destiny according to the soul contract that he/she will have signed before incarnating. He/She will have enough resources so that his mother, the Almighty Isis, can witness his influence on him/her by ensuring that Light triumphs over Darkness.

All Kugaruka's writings are legally protected in terms of Intellectual Property and Copyright.

© Kugaruka

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