Here’s to Strong Women: May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
Who run the world? MOTHERS! Happy International Women’s Day! We’re all about celebrating mama power today as we sing out Queen Bey’s anthem. Some of the Sassy Mama team is here to honour their mums on this important day for women!
My mum, Agnes, has always been someone I’ve admired and looked up to ever since I was a little girl. She is literally one of the strongest people I know. She may not admit it herself, but I have always found her gentle, selfless and kind spirit to be one of the strongest qualities about her. She always goes above and beyond to make sure everyone is cared for and appreciated. It’s no wonder she has such an amazing community of friends and family who would do anything for her. She is my biggest supporter and has always cheered me on with whatever crazy idea I had. (Move half way around the world to teach? Go for it! Start your own events company? Knock ’em dead. Begin a new career? You got this.) She made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. And as a mama myself now, I hope to instil the same belief in my kids that their dreams can come true as long as they’re willing to work hard! My admiration and respect for my mama grows every day. She is definitely a woman to be celebrated today!
My cousin is 20 years older than me so she saw the awesomeness of my mama way before I did when she started to have her kids. My mum told her to not stress about the little things when it comes to raising kids and to get out and about with her little one and enjoy being active with them. Fast forward years later and I finally understood what my cousin had seen in my mum for so long. My mum’s name is Una so when we are at a loss for something to do we just think to ourselves and say ‘What would Una do?’ and that usually means… she would get off the couch and get out and explore, she would listen to live music, have fun in the park or take a spontaneous day trip to the beach. Una/Mum is now called Granny in our house so the new phrase is ‘What would Granny Do?’ and I am so happy that I am able to share this fun, go getter attitude now with my family. ‘Cause I am totally realising, that becoming like my mum would be the ultimate compliment anyone could ever give to me.
I owe a huge amount to my mum and my grandmothers (other than the obvious!). Honesty, support, love and a tolerance for some fairly horrible behaviour in my teens plus so much more. All three of these amazing mamas have always been utterly selfless in their devotion to me, my siblings and now my own children. My darling late grandmother could read me like a book, absorbing my sadness, embracing my happiness and dishing out the wisest advice – even late in her life. Both of my grandmothers were displaced by war and lived through hardships that I couldn’t even imagine but I rarely heard them complain – they just got on with life with a resilience that I admire hugely – and (mostly) with a smile on their face. I feel very lucky to have been blessed with them in my life.
It’s always been easy for me to pinpoint a role model because of the wonder-woman who raised me, Faridé Shroff. My mum is someone I admire for all the clichéd reasons (you know, food, shelter, education, life… the basics), but also someone I am thankful to for showing me the meaning of selflessness. Since she was a teenager (yup, you read that right!), she’s devoted her time to providing support for people with different abilities. Sometimes it feels like she’s a mother figure for half of Hong Kong, yet somehow, she always seems to find the time and energy to give. Three years ago, she founded SENsational Consultancy, working to raise awareness and promote a positive change in our (often inaccessible) concrete city. It’s been so rewarding to watch how the work she does is helping create a more inclusive community in Hong Kong. From working tirelessly, to sacrificing the last piece of cake, selfless is definitely a word I would use to describe her.
My mum, Shahnaz is the most amazing brave, loving and caring person I know. She always puts her kids first no matter how old we get. She is my hero and I hope that I can be as good as she has been to my kids. She left her home country to start all over again from scratch without family and friends to give her me and my siblings a better future. I love her and respect her a lot.
It’s second nature to admire your mum, after all she’s been there to dress every bump and graze, lick the wounds following those (loser) boyfriend heartbreaks and, well, to just give you it to you straight when your teen-self thought it ‘cool’ to pluck your eyebrows within an inch of their life and dowse your hair with Sun In. And despite driving you absolutely mental on (more than one) occasion, you can’t help but wish you didn’t live so far away from each other. My mum has a heart of gold, a fierce feminist who saw the chance to help those in need and grabbed it by the horns. Now living in Nepal and diving head-first into studying Nepalese at Kathmandu University, she’s the founder of WONDERWorks and an all round mama-machine. Having helped countless women since 2012, the foundation aims to empower exploited women who hope to break away from the entertainment industry, so they may lead a life free of stigma and violence. WONDERWorks is growing from strength to strength each day (read more about it here), as is the driving force behind it all – my mum.
As cliché as it may sound, the woman that I admire most is my mom! Growing up, I think it is easy to take for granted all that moms do on a day to day basis. Looking back now, I really am amazed how she juggled it all and always had a smile on her face (for the most part)! My mom truly is my biggest supporter and for that, she deserves a big shout out on International Women’s Day!