Just weeks ago, R&B and Afro Pop singer, Waje celebrated her 18-year-old daughter’s birthday as she wrote her a heart-warming post on her gram. It was a piece filled with motherly love and gratitude to God for how far the 35-year-old mother had come in her journey through teenage pregnancy and single motherhood through the years. But her did she cope with everything that happened in-between? It is tale that should inspire you!

Born Aituaje Iruobe, Waje has had a chequered journey through stardom and motherhood. Even though she discovered her musical talent at an early age, getting pregnant at age 17 meant she had more to deal than many other girls her age. But that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams as she was later to acquire a degree in social work from the prestigious University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). By dint of hard work and talent, she was able to do part-time tourism work in school, while at the same time maintaining her music hustle and being a mother to her growing daughter. She had admitted in an interview with Allure that those were the most difficult times of her life. In her words “I would say that that time was, perhaps, the most difficult time in my life. I was young, still in my teens, vulnerable, confused and scared. The most important thing and the luckiest thing I had was the support of my family; that made life a little easier”

At other times she had shared her resolve not to allow her daughter make the same mistakes she made by being put in the family way outside wedlock. Pouring out her heart to Genevieve Magazine sometime ago, she shared: “I’m a mother but I know where to draw the line. It is because I don’t want her to make the same mistakes I made. I feel like some of the decisions I made was because I was raised differently”

Speaking on her formula for ensuring her daughter turns out right, Waje had to think differently. In her words: “Our parents taught us what they knew as the truth, but what you know as the truth might not be the truth. Another thing is that parents do not tell their children why certain behaviours should be avoided. For example, parents say, ‘don’t drink because I said so’ not, ‘don’t drink because it is bad for your health’… but I’m learning that for the children of this age, you have to tell them all the reasons why they should not do certain things….While my daughter was growing up, I took up the reward method; you do good, you get good. There was a consequence for every action.”

Eighteen years after, it all seems to have paid off, and all that with little input from the one who put her in the family way. But according to her, she holds no grudges against him because in her words, “I was young. He was young. Our relationship now is very cordial. We respect each other. He has not always been a part of my daughter’s life until recently….When she was quite young he showed interest but my fear was that he won’t be consistent. I didn’t want a situation where he would come in this year and leave the next. So I had to wait till I was sure that he would be there”

All things are bright and beautiful right now for both Waje and Emerald, but the singer says “There were many times I really prayed God to make things easier. It did get too much when it is time to pay rent, school fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. I had my own share of pillow cries and made sure she doesn’t see it. Sometimes she could come asking, ‘Why didn’t you and my Dad stay together?’ And, when I first moved to Lagos, I couldn’t afford to have my daughter with me because I didn’t have a house; I was squatting with someone. There was a time I saw her like twice a year. There were times she cried, mummy I want to come and live with you, but I couldn’t afford it till 2011. Yet looking at my daughter, I will be honest that she is a blessing. And the blessing outweighs the challenges. I have learnt to be patient, more accommodating and to pay attention to details as a mom. I have also learnt to map out my priorities, because there are some things I simply cannot do as a mom”

So much to learn from this celebrity’s life, you’ll agree. Never give up!