The popular Lynn Forbes is best known as rapper, AKA’s mother. However, believe it or not, moms actually do have lives of their own, and Lynn is no exception.
Over the last few years, the retired teacher’s public profile has grown as people have begun to see her as more than just AKA’s mom. Instead of just enjoying being in the spotlight, she wants to do more than pose for the cameras.
Lynn is an an ambassador for the 2018 Trek4Mandela Expedition, which is an annual expedition to climb to Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, on Mandela Day, 18 July. The project aims to raise awareness and money for Caring4Girls, a project which provides sanitary products to girls from poorer areas. Girls from these backgrounds tend to miss up to 50 days of school due to having no sanitary pads for their menstrual cycles. By being provided with sanitary pads, the girls have a greater chance of escaping poverty through education.
Lynn will be one of the people climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, which coincides with her 50th birthday in July. She aims is to help the project reach their goal of raising R1 million so that they can support 2 million girls by 2020. She has always dreamt of climbing Kilmanjro since she was a child but this came about because of tragedy.
When she was 11, Lynn was sexually abused by a close friend of her parents. To escape the abuse while it was happning, she dreamt of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Like all child abuse victims, she blamed herself, felt ashamed and never told anyone, including her parents. This secret controlled every aspect of her life and anything could trigger memories of the abuse. She says that her throat tightens and she starts to feel suffocated when it feels like she is being controlled or manipulated.
After 38 years of keeping it a secret, she finally found the courage to start speaking about her abuse. It started with acknowledging to herself that it was not her fault and she did not ask to be abused. She says that speaking about the abuse is like like being set free after a lifetime in jail. She says however that it is not easy to start talking about it. Telling her story is part of her healing process because a secret does not heal. It only festers and grows.
Lynn has taken this pain and turned it into her cause for positive change. She is currently involved with various organisations to help victims of childhood abuse. She wants to make sure that kids and adults know that they should not feel ashamed about something that is not their fault. Her aim is to encourage them to speak out and expose the perpetrators.
When she is not working, Lynn’s enjoys spending time with her two sons and especially with her 2 year old grandaughter, Kairo (Lynn is popularly known as Glammy, which stands for, ‘Glamerous Granny’). She had dreamt of climbing Kilimanjaro for many years, but it was the birth of Kairo that made her decide that she would climb it before she turned 50. She wants to show Kairo that that it’s okay to have big dreams, set goals and make those dreams a reality. Lynn has already set her goals, and in July, the glamerous granny will literally be on top of the world. Good luck to her and in case we forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LYNN FORBES.