D.I.V.A of the Month – June 2011
Pam Chiyanika from Cape Town, South Africa tells us about rediscovering herself and finding love again after divorce.
Lelemba: Who is Pam?
Pam: The first thing that springs to mind is mother of two boys. I am a driven female of strength who has remained grounded through life’s experiences.
Lelemba: Could you please tell us about what you do and about your family?
Pam: I have recently been appointed Regional Team Leader for Cell C Service Provider. My role is outsourced via The Smollan Group, a successful field marketing specialising company that’s celebrating their 80th year of success this year. I manage a team of eight, supported by two Administrators. It is a challenging role that requires one to be innovative and adaptable, due to the evolving nature of the ICT industry.
I have two sons named Jeremy (12) and Gabriel (5). My Christian background influenced their names (Jeremy from Jeremiah and Gabriel the angel) I am proud to say that my boys are living up to the expectations that come with their names. Jeremy is a top performer in school (Grade 6) and has excelled in his sporting activities. He recently was elected at the U13 boys Zonal hockey trials and now represents the U13 Northern Suburbs Team. He has an amazingly mature and loving nature, and is not only is he my pride and joy but other parents too. Gabriel in his young age shows a lot of passion and strongly stands for what he believes in. He is of a peaceful loving nature and showing many talents that at this stage I cannot decipher which path he will take. I am letting my angel be; for now.
My mom sadly passed away 11 years ago. Though I miss her, God has been wonderful in that I don’t lack a mother figure as her sisters have been more than I could ask for out of a mother. My father lives in Zimbabwe, my birth country and works for a mine as a Financial Manager.
I have my siblings who live with me and also offer me great support, Tafadzwa and Hazel.
Lelemba: So you were married before and got divorced, care to share a little bit about that experience and anything you learnt from it?
Pam: The most life changing experiences I have ever gone through were the challenges in my marriage and then the divorce. I feel when a woman weds, being the emotional and devotional beings we are, we truly hope that it is for life. So when this is somewhat shaken up in any way it’s bound to cause a lot of distress. I was greatly disappointed that this had to be the only way for me to find myself. Thankfully my spirituality grew and I was able to move on without any hurt or resentments. The answers that I found through prayer and worship were that I needed to forgive as much as I needed to be forgiven. It takes two after all; two to make a marriage successful or to let it fall apart.
Lelemba: How was life as a single mum?
Pam: The possibility of raising my boys in a single parent household seemed unfathomable initially. One’s strength is tested at a time of pressure. When life turned out the way it did, I had to adapt and draw all the life’s lessons lectured to me by mom before she passed on. I went down memory lane and did a lot of reflecting and it was amazing how suddenly everything she had ever said now made sense. I had to be strong for my boys. I thank the Almighty for blessing me with wonderful family and friends that were a great support. I could not have gotten through it alone. As time went by my coping mechanism kicked in and responsibilities became manageable to a point where one becomes ignorant to the fact that I am a single parent. I have progressed as a mother, spiritually and in my career in a phenomenal manner that leaves me in awe of God’s grace.
Lelemba: Wow. It’s truly amazing how one can grow out of some of life’s hardest moments. And how about finding love again, what was it like? Scary? Exciting? Do tell…
Pam: Ooooohhhh!!! Love makes the world go round! I am a person that enjoys laughter and serenity, in fact I am addicted to it. This added with my caring nature gave me hope that if these were truly qualities that I have been blessed with, surely God would complement them somehow? At times though, it seemed as if I would end up being a single mom for the rest of my life as society has its own perception of divorcees, let alone divorced women!
Faith – the substance of things unseen! I kept my hope secretly and at an unexpected time in my life God sent me yet another angel (other than my two boys), Sammy David Thumba. At first I was in disbelief of the love I received from him, a case of once bitten twice shy. With time however I began to realise how genuine this man was and I have not looked back since. He has taken away all the hurt and restored that love that I thought I could not give yet again. Most importantly he adores my boys and vice versa and that brings me peace. So I recently asked my older son Jeremy what he thought about me remarrying to Sammy? Let’s just say the response I got warmed my heart, to an 11 year old boy “awesome” means just that! So I guess I have his much needed blessing. Scary, yes to a certain degree but that’s why I love Sammy as he is of such positive nature and so loving that I would not let this opportunity pass me by. I am in love!
Lelemba: Aaaaawwww! Speechless! Can you share some highlights of your life?
Pam: The births of my 2 boys, though they are 7 years apart their births were significant to the stage I was at in my life. Both brought new dimension into my life, true blessings! Meeting my new man and getting a second chance at love. My recent career appointment; in a tough environment and I personally agree with the perception that females have to generally work twice as hard as males to prove themselves. I feel that the last 6 years have been grooming me for this position and that the hard work and dedication has paid off and it is only the beginning. Being accepted into UCT Graduate School for a post-graduate program. It is a gruelling, prodding process that should you be selected amongst a large group of applicants, it is a great achievement.
Lelemba: And what are some of the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Pam: Getting over the loss of my mother – still miss her like it was yesterday. She is my greatest inspiration to being a woman of substance. However I realised that I had embrace the love that surrounded me and was offered to me by my family. They say at times we are busy searching yet the thing we need is right under our nose.
Lelemba: W ho/what else inspires you?
Pam: God’s miracles are my inspiration. People tend to think that miracles happened only in the olden days, I have seen God’s work in many peoples’ lives. This humbles me and my God is my provider.
I have a group of friends that we’ve classified ourselves as “over-achievers” and they are my inspiration too. We encourage and drive one another in an oblivious way that is so much fun and our achievements are measured by our celebratory moments year by year. We have thus recently decided our next goal is to raise “over-achievers” in our children through our actions and guidance.
Lelemba: Where to from here? Can you share what some of your dreams or goals are?
Pam: To create a loving home environment for my boys and new found love. I love the corporate world and with my further studies hoping to rise up the ladder! I have visions of being CEO one day – Faith *wink*. My main goal in life is to have inner peace through spirituality and to feel that I used my talents and gifts to capacity.
Lelemba: Thank you very much for sharing your story with us. I am sure it will encourage a lot of people out there.