I was angry and bitter
Being forced to take up her mother's responsibilities because she drank heavily and neglected her children left Thuliswa battling with anger and bitterness for many years. Her mother's drinking worsened when Thuliswa's little brother was only a year old.
"My mother drank excessively every weekend. Her drinking bothered me because she yelled and screamed for no reason when she was drunk. She sometimes went to the taverns on Friday night and only returned on Saturday morning. She would sleep the whole day and not do any of the house chores. At the age of 17, I looked after my younger brother and did all the house chores. I told her how I felt about her drinking, but she never changed.
The situation made me a very angry person. I couldn't understand why a mother would drink so heavily and neglect her children. I lost respect for my mother and I answered back when she tried to reprimand me," she said.
Unable to find a balance between her studies and her home responsibilities, Thuliswa failed grade 12. In 2008, Thuliswa was invited to the Universal Church by an assistant who was evangelising in her neighbourhood.
"I spoke to her about my family situation and she told me that God was going to change it. I started attending the services and later took part in different chains of prayers in the church. On Fridays, I attended services and prayed for God to deliver my mother from alcohol. I also attended services on Wednesdays for my spiritual life to grow. As I continued attending services, I understood that I needed to respect and love my mother, regardless of her behaviour. I then asked God to deliver me from the anger and bitterness that hindered me from loving my mother. I stopped answering back when she spoke to me and I gave her the respect she deserves as a mother. God delivered me from the anger and bitterness of many years. Seeing a change in me, my mother attended the services with me.
Four months later she stopped drinking alcohol. She became a loving, responsible mother and performed all her duties. She spends time with us at home. I also went back to school and I passed my grade 12 with good marks. Today we are all in the church and in the same faith," she said.