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Written by Abazz Shayaam-Smith,  BA in Geography with Quantitative Methods

Interestingly, it was not until I moved out and I was placed at a considerable distance from my mum that I finally began to appraise the amount she did.

The cushion of university was not cushy enough to shield me from the harsh reality – unfortunately, I was an adult now, and as an adult I had to do all the things my mum unknowingly did for me by myself. It was precisely at this point when I realised my own mother was my role model. If you’d asked me before, I always said some distant cutesy celebrity but that’s no longer the case. No one compares to my mum. There has always been something about my mum’s that made me strive for more in both myself and for my family. The way she carries herself – an air of security and truth, the way she never gives up and the way she always has a solution to everything.

Never in my life have I seen my mum crack under pressure or tiredness, snap from stress. In my own jounrey to adulthood, I’ve seen how tiring it can be and it’s opened my eyes to the endless amount of difficulties my mum would have found herself in during my childhood, yet she always protected me from it all because I was always none-the-wiser.

I guess my mum is like a shield. Perhaps, it is her silent strength – almost like the base of a pillar, never faltering – and her personal aspirations which she always put on the back burner for us. When times are difficult and life throws me another test, curveball, or the fatal double knock of both, I find my myself scrambling for even the tiniest fraction of her in myself – ‘what would my mum do?’. So, the answer is very simple – my mum, Deena, is my role model because she is my mum – she is everything and much more; it is clear strings of flowery words won’t be able to capture even a snapshot of her black womanhood but I hope my words have done my mother a service.