Married four months after their first kiss, Connie and Shona Ferguson were truly meant to be together. 

Connie and Shona Ferguson met by chance at her Johannesburg home nearly 16 years ago, when Shona was dropping off mutual friends of her sister, Lorato. Connie happened to walk into the room as he was about to leave, and it was love at first sight – they were married four months after their first kiss!

The Ferguson family today is comprised of Connie and Shona, two daughters, Lesedi and Alicia, and Lesedi’s little boy, Ronewa. Asked about motherhood, Connie’s face lights up. ‘I love everything about being a mother,’ she beams. ‘Being able to love that deeply without fear; being able to give freely without reservation; knowing that your child has you and no one else to depend on for their livelihood… The unconditional love you get from them is such an overwhelming blessing and gift that I even struggle to put it into words! All I know is that the fact that I’m a mother means God loves me and deemed me worthy!’

The hardest part of motherhood, she says, ‘was juggling work and motherhood in the beginning – that feeling of guilt every time I had to leave my children to go to work, come home tired, and feel like I’m not giving the best of myself to them. But with my husband’s help we’ve been able to pace ourselves so we are still able to spend quality time with our children.’

Connie admits to being a doting grandmother. ‘There’s something really special about being a grandmother,’ she smiles. ‘The sense of pride one feels when your little one has their own little one! The way I relate to my grandson is typical granny behaviour – he literally gets away with everything my children wouldn’t have got away with! All he has to say is please and look me in the eyes and I’m putty! I’m over-protective and want him to be happy at all costs! But I’m very cautious not to spoil him too much, and to teach him to be grateful and not take anything for granted. I’m having fun as a granny, though!’

Asked what the family does for fun, Connie says, ‘My family loves television and we watch a lot of shows together. Ronewa likes Teletubbies and Twirlywoos and actually knows how to put them in himself now! He is two years old. We listen to a lot of music and sing and dance together. Sometimes Alicia, my 15-year-old daughter, will play her instruments and we will sing and pretend to be performing! We are just an easy-going, fun-loving family that totally enjoys each other’s company. We holiday a lot together – our favourite local destinations are Umhlanga in Durban and the Cape Town Waterfront.

How does she keep all the balls in the air? ‘I learnt very quickly that I’m not superwoman, so I welcome help from my husband and girls, and their nanny is awesome! We’re a team and we make it work for all of us!’ She says she loves working with her husband. ‘We are in sync,’ she smiles. ‘I think it has brought us closer together. We have structured our home time, so we give each other space to work quietly when we’re on deadline. But we try not to let this happen too often, because we love to catch up as a family and be silly with the kids.’ She says one of the best parts of working together is their brainstorming sessions – she loves the thrill and buzz of throwing around ideas and sparking off each other. ‘We laugh at each other,’ she says, ‘because it seems we can’t switch off.’

Despite the fun, Connie admits that owning a business is more difficult than she’d imagined. 

‘You have to have clear goals, realistic timelines and the drive to push through adversity,’ she says, ‘because you’ll hear “no” more often than “yes”.’ 

Her greatest challenge was proving that her business acumen is as sharp as her creative flair. ‘Our strategy was to remain patient with people who doubted us; to work quietly and let that work speak for itself. If you’re working towards the same goal, you’ll share the same principles, which definitely helps you pull through the hard times. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to make a success of any business. That said, if you have a good concept, a solid plan, vision and realistic goals, you have to believe that you can make it.’

THE FERGUSON FAMILY THE FERGUSON FAMILY Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on July 01, 2017 Rating: 5
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