Special birthday for Mpumi, an adventurous 10-year-old

BIRTHDAY FUN: The birthday girl having fun with friends and a scuba diving instructor.
BIRTHDAY FUN: The birthday girl having fun with friends and a scuba diving instructor.

Thuli Zungu

Thuli Zungu

Children's birthday parties are becoming more elaborate by day.

The last time I gave my daughter Mpumi a birthday treat was five years ago when she turned five.

We flew to Cape Town and visited Table Mountain and all the other tourist attractions.

I promised her then that her next special birthday would be when she turns 10, which was last month.

I wanted to take her to Disneyland but I needed a lot more money for that and she needed her friends to celebrate her birthday with her. So we compromised.

Disneyland was pie in the sky and I was not about to suffer anxiety attacks to make up for a fancy birthday I could not afford.

But I had to restore my child's confidence in me. She has to trust me, rely on me and love me no matter how poor I am. After all, I brought her into the world.

So we planned her birthday together. We surfed the Net until we found Jozikids, which offer ideas, news, stories, articles and everything else of interest.

She settled for a scuba birthday party by Barry and Toni Sanders.

The experienced instructors take every precaution to ensure children's safety. They also cater, provide waitresses, personalised birthday cakes, cool drinks, party packs and certificates for the children.

It was convenient, hassle free and lots of fun. All we had to do was arrive with sun block, costumes, towels and lots of energy.

Mpumi said it was a memorable birthday. Now she wants to learn scuba diving. As a mom who swims like a stone I am impressed - but worried. Maybe I am just being overprotective