The story is told that the wizened old woman taught mothers never to love their children. She walked from cabin to cabin dispensing her wisdom. Because her message must be infused through the veins of the earth, the sciolist* even makes her walk from plantation to plantation, silent as the air we breathe, without attracting the attention of the owners. Mothers eagerly lapped up her words, for they knew the dire consequences of loving. Those who were weak enough to love in spite of themselves received special lessons on how to cease confusing love with ownership. Invariably they failed to appreciate the fine distinction and ended up regretting that they loved at all. Some women imbibed the lessons so well that they went beyond just not loving their children; they developed a deep hatred for them. They hated them for being the children who could not be loved. If they had had the power they would have strangled them in the womb.
~ Zakes Mda, Cion
*the novel’s omniscient narrator