From Children’s Home to a Successful Business Woman
Chapter 1: My early years in Sierra Leone
My very earliest childhood years are filled with negative memories of growing up in a house run by my dad and stepmother. In this bustling household of children, siblings and others I was born in a small village in Sierra Leone. My dad and stepmother were teachers who worked for the missionary Seventh Day Adventist Church. I remember there were always a lot of nuns around. These nuns could not pronounce my native African name, ?, so they called me Margaret, and the name stuck.
I do not have a detailed memory of my stepmother; I only know that she was horrible. She said horrible things to me. She would verbally chastise me for not keeping the house clean, such as, sweeping up the place, or not looking after my younger sister, Esther, properly. I don’t remember her actually beating me but I do remember she would tell my dad of my shortcomings and he would beat me severely. My younger sister Esther, the daughter of my dad and stepmother was two years my junior and had the privilege of going to private school, I did not. I sometimes went to the local school otherwise I’d be kept at home for long periods of time with no schooling.
I was an energetic child and my favourite fun activity was climbing trees, any tree I could see to climb I would certainly climb. However, I was also quite sickly and would often find myself lying on the grass feeling unwell. A few years later than Esther’s birth my parents had a baby boy. As a small child I used to look after my baby brother and developed a close bond with him. Although there were older women around who would help look after the children and household, at home I was like a surrogate mother to my baby brother. He lived for a short number of months then passed away; this had a deep impact on me although I could not articulate the effect.
Witten By Margaret Thorli
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