Voices@Athena-Liteboho Mafa

"Those who share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand mean the most to us."

Liteboho Mafa
C19 Supply Chain Officer
Ministry of Finance-Project Management Unit

Masters in Supply Chain and Logistics Management Batch 2022

My Twin Sister/Friend

Let me introduce you to my friend and my twin sister, Nthabiseng Kabeli also known as Nthaby, that’s what she wants us to call her. We met way back in high school. She was my senior when I was in Form A, she was in Form C. We did not have any relationship back then, we just knew each other, probably because I also dated his brother that did not last long. We all know how high school relationships are. We met again in 2004 in the first year at National Health Training College where she was a student nurse while I was studying Biomedical Science. Like in high school, we were not friends, and three years down, I left college, and she was still there, studying Ophthalmology. 

The friendship began in 2011 when I was transferred from Mokhotlong Hospital to Mohaleshoek  Hospital. I needed a house to rent, made inquiries to a few friends, and finally, they got hold of Nthaby. She agreed that she would collect the key from the landlord, and I could wake her up when I finally arrived. She did collect the key and I woke her up around 2100hrs.  

Mohaleshoek became home far away from home because of her. I was introduced to all places of interest and people. Back then, I didn’t have a car so she would pick me up every morning while going to work and pick me up from work to our residence. On weekends going to parties and traveling was fun. We learned that we had a lot in common. Though she was born a few years before, we shared the same birth month, October. We are the Roctober babes (LIBRAS), we both enjoyed traveling and we are both very independent to the core. While it may be nice to have some of the things given to you but we didn’t understand that some of us do not have that privilege and we need to work hard to achieve anything. In my family, I am known as a cry baby, but I learned that she is crying more than me.  

One of the customs for me and my friend was to celebrate our birthdays in style and that's what we did. Traveling was also what we enjoyed most, and we had our fair share of traveling. We went to the Bush Fire Festival in Eswatini, Kasane in Botswana, Victoria Falls and Cape Town, just to mention a few interesting places. 

While I am a bit reserved at times, the twin sister is nothing like me, she is a bubbly person, and she knows almost half the population in Lesotho. Some of the people I know today are because of her. One of the best things about her was her ambition. We learned years ago that nurses were actually relocating to the United Kingdom. The process on its own is tiring and it needs someone to be both financially stable and patient. My twin took a leap of faith and went through the whole process and finally, there were results. She left Lesotho to pursue her career in the United Kingdom. If I were honest, I would tell you it was a better pill to swallow but I did wish her the best. Although many things will never be the same, I hope they will be better ones. 

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that they are those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in our hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares, and to me, Nthaby will always be that Friend. 

One dream we share is that one day maybe it will be my turn to leave Lesotho and we will definitely be together again but until then, I  will be studying and if any opportunity appears, I will grab it and relocate to be near my Twin Sister.

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