Lessons from the Opiio family on how to nurture teens during school holidays

Last week, I got to spend some quality time with some of my favourite people, the family of my brother Simon Opiio, son of my late papa Malinga, brother to my late father. As we lazed around after lunch, at their home in Komolo Village in Pallisa, his daughter, my niece, Tereza, named after her grandmother, got her hair done by her mother, my sister in love and namesake, Norah Mukebezi.

It reminded me of how this was the norm in our community decades ago, when rest time for girls and women was after lunch, when girls and women spent quality time with each other – each in their age-sets, chatting away and doing each other’s hair or helping out another with something that is easier done with others. And most importantly, spending quality time with each other – supporting and encouraging each other.

Tereza has completed her senior four examinations and is waiting for her ‘O-Level’ Results. During holidays she and her sister alternate as the shop attendants of their family shop at Komolo Village. A significant shop, for which I will write about another day. Last week was Tereza’s week off shop duty and she was on home duty – cooking, washing, cleaning, etc.; as well as gardening on their various farmlands, alongside her parents and or hired labourers. And yes, when not on shop duty is when the girls get rest time, including time to get hair done by mum💕

The way in which my brother and sister in love are raising their children is mega admirable. They are truly the model family of how we can nurture and socialize the next generation to be of good character; have good moral conduct; and be confident in their roots as they take on the world as enterprising entrepreneurs.

That Tereza and her sister are singly able to attend to the shop, sell products, receive cash payments, give back the right change and balance the books at the end of the day is great learning for them in mathematics, accounting, commerce, and other subjects many struggle with at school. In fact, outside of school they are learning important lessons which are helpful for them while in school; and most importantly they are learning life skills.

It is morally grounding for the girls to handle significant flows of cash without being tempted to dip their fingers in the till to take off some for their own personal benefit. They know and are happy to work for the greater good of their family, because they know that its from their family enterprises that the resources to cover their needs shall come.

I am filled with joy that my brother and sister in love have set a fabulous foundation for our children. And I am equally filled with joy that Tereza and her siblings are humble and honour their parents.

It is is important to share also, that my brother and his family are strong believers in Christianity and are proactive in their Church.

By the way, what is the going rate in hair salons these days for one to get their hair plaited into Bantu knots? Whatever the price, it cannot beat the value for money that Tereza and her mother get in quality time.

Featured photo @ children and wife of Simon Opiio – Esther Norah, Olinga, Tereza and their mum Norah Mukebezi.

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