But as the years went by, many have realised that one day is simply not enough to celebrate the women who gave us life, so in many countries the entire month of May is dedicated to mothers.
Over lunch at the Johannesburg Culinary School, a handful of television personalities came together to celebrate their moms.
“This is a time to reflect on our relationships with our mothers,” says model and television host Refilwe Modiselle. “But if you have a great relationship with your mother, and you show her love and appreciation every day, then you don’t need to do anything different during this time.”
Modiselle grew up in Rockville, Soweto and when her father passed away while she was still young, her mother and two younger sisters became her source of motivation.
“My mother has given me strength, spiritual grounding and love. When I was young, I never really understood the power of my mother’s prayers. Her faith is what continues to make me the woman I am today.”
Actress Khabonina Qubeka can’t think of a single thing which she didn’t get from her mother.
“I got everything from her,” she says.
“She’s an artist, and that is exactly what defines me as well. I grew up looking at pictures of her modelling, dancing and singing. My mother didn’t just expose me to the different elements of the arts she also gave me the love for for it.”
As a dance choreographer, actress and businesswoman, Qubeka has dedicated her life to making the most of the talents her mother encouraged her to develop as a child.
“When she was still very young, she would listen to me practising the songs I had written, and she would start singing them too,” says Portia Qubeka. “As a mother, seeing a part of yourself in your child is so wonderful.”
Among the many things Qubeka inherited from her mother, she is most proud of her loving
nature. “Besides seeing my mother work as a musician I also saw her giving love to each and every person she worked with, I absolutely love that about her.
“Motherhood is loving yourself to the extent that it reflects in your child. Your child is strong when she knows how to love herself, and a mother is the best person to teach this. A mother also needs to be there for her children for as long as she lives. No matter how successful or grown up they may seem, don’t ever think that your child doesn’t need you.”
For Grace Modiselle, motherhood is deeply rooted in her faith.
“There are certain things that you won’t be able to do for your child, this is where God comes in. I wouldn’t have been able to be a mother without God,” she says.