Men “The woman who changed my life”
The game changer “I was a drinking, smoking, greasy fast food-consuming sloth. She was a teetotalling vegetarian gym bunny. Yet somehow it worked. So much so that we eventually got married.
“Nowadays, I still eat the occasional takeaway and drink beer, but she’s taught me to make healthier food choices and exercise more. And I’m still alive, so she’s doing something right!” – Matthew, 39
The godmother “Zimbabwe’s land invasions caused untold suffering to my godmother, but even in depressing circumstances, she maintained her sense of humour and optimism. Her strength of character helped me to see the way through my own difficult situations, and taught me to stand tall and stay positive no matter what life brings my way.” – Alex, 25
The teacher “I’ve known my wife for 22 years, and although over that time we’ve been separated by her family, our marriages to other people and once through my own actions, she’s taught me the most important lessons of my life.
“When we were kids, she taught me self-love, showing me how to accept myself for who I was, rather than the way other people saw me – an outcast and a loner. Later, she taught me faith, and how to truly believe in the universe’s plan. Finally, she taught me the meaning of true love; how it can calm your soul and make the noise in your head disappear.” – Randall, 38
The sister “When I was 10, I lost my mother to cancer, but my older sister immediately stepped in to take her place. The loss of our mother changed our relationship from sibling rivalry to matriarchal. As a result, she impacted my upbringing significantly, and influences all romantic relationships I’ve had to date.
“No woman can ever replace the unconditional love my mother gave me, but my sister has showed me that no matter what happens, the sun will always come out tomorrow.” – Karabo, 33
The inspirer “One woman who continues to inspire me is a friend I’ve had since primary school. As a single parent, she has not only managed to feed, clothe and educate her two sons, but she’s also raised them to be confident, capable, well-rounded young men. The home she has created is the one I would love to emulate for my own sons in the future.” – Steve, 55
The partner “The woman who rocks my world is the one who shares my home and my heart every day. My wife inspires the change that’s helped me become a better man, and she’s been by my side for 10 years.
“She recently convinced me to adopt a dog, and I’ve never been happier than I am now with these two in my life.” – Sivu, 38