Creative Work

November 10, 2020

“Ndiphefumla Ngenxeba”: Experiences of Mothering in a Pandemic

Ziyanda Majombozi

On the 5th of March 2020, Dr Zweli Mkhize, the Minister of Health announced that South Africa had its first confirmed case of the COVID 19 virus. Although the numbers were low in comparison with other countries, there was a steady increase in COVID -19 positive cases. In efforts to limit the spread of the virus, on March 23rd, the president of South Africa – Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be on a national lockdown as of midnight, the 26th of March. Among other things, there were restrictions placed on non-essential movement, gatherings of people over 100, schools were closed, social visits were prohibited, and unless one was an essential worker, they had to work from home.  The nation-wide state of disaster quickly translated into a state of chaos in homes – mothers were breathing through the wound. In this conversation, I explore how working mothers navigated working from home and doing childcare in a context where their key support structures were unavailable.

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Ziyanda Majombozi C

About Ziyanda Majombozi

Ziyanda Majombozi is a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pretoria. Her current PhD research focuses on the experiences of Black middle-class mothers whilst her master’s research titled, ‘Luring the Infant into Life’: Exploring Infant Mortality and Infant feeding practice in Khayelitsha, Cape Town documented infant feeding practices. These studies have framed her broader research interests on motherhood, maternal health, pregnancy, childbirth, infant feeding, families and politics of reproduction.