The Okanga family is grounded by the courageous and unwavering love of Tsi Tsi; mother of five including triplets; Stephanie, Melanie and Emelie and grandmother to Sophie, 13 months. Born in Zimbabwe, we chat to the Okanga family about their move to New Zealand. The road for Tsi Tsi hasn’t been readily paved, yet her tribulations do not define her; her joy is unparalleled and compelling. She delights us with her experience of motherhood and raising multiples, while her daughters, Stephanie and Melanie, share the things they cherish most about their mum. Spoiler alert – she’s their hero.
MELANIE: Tell us about your mum, and the things you cherish about her.
My mum is a beautiful human. I admire her persistence and ability to bounce back. She is one of the most optimistic people you could ever meet and that type of positivity just rubs off on you growing up. She is full of energy and has a love for people and a love for life that I truly admire. She can be really quirky at times, to a point where I just want to hide. But I love her to bits because her energy also lights up the room, and gives others the freedom to be quirky and weird too. There is never a lull or dull moment when she is around. She is a beautiful person inside and out.
TSI TSI: What mother means to you.
It is a gift and privilege to be a mother. It has its challenges, but the reward is priceless. Motherhood to me means.
Motherhood means accepting the challenges and celebrations each day brings for each child to the best of my ability. It starts from the day you learn you are pregnant until the day you die. Motherhood is beautiful!
STEPHANIE: How did becoming a mother evolve or deepen your relationship with your own mum
Becoming a mum has made me more grateful of what my mother did for us throughout the years. It has made me less critical of the things I would have changed as each day presents it's own challenges. I'm in awe of how she managed to do the needed for more then 1 child as I feel like my hands are already full! I now see my life and the way mum did things from a different angle. One that understands this is a hard job and we are doing the best we can each day. The love and appreciation I have for her is immense.
Tsi Tsi and Melanie both wear Rebe, a mid-sized softly structed cross-body, complete with datable shoulder strap offering multiple ways to wear. Stephanie wears Holly in black croc, a satchel style consciously crafted in recycled leather. They choose to gift a Big Sis’ to their sibling Emelie who was out of town for the shoot.
Spoil them with Saben or treat yourself. Its only the hardest, most rewarding job in the world.
Meet Seba, a sensitive, kind, and resilient single mother who shared what motherhood means to her in our recent open casting call to ‘all who Mother’. We were inspired by her strength as a solo parent to three children, as well as those she nurtures in the classroom. Oh and did we mention she's tiktok famous?
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