“If I was going to be the mother to KINGS, I wanted them to embrace and acknowledge their roots.” As the proud mother of now, three young kings, Rue Khosa’s regal maternity shoot paid homage to her husbands Xhosa roots. With the couple being from the African countries of Zimbabwe and South Africa, the creative concept of the shoot was a picture of royal perfection.
Collaborating with traditional Xhosa seamstress and beader Akasemhle, the family’s photoshoot was a joyous tribute to the future while honoring the time-honored traditions of the past. The maternity shoot in Washington State was captured by award-winning Seattle-based photographer Angela Carlyle who flawlessly recorded the style, mood, and personality of the family’s maternity story.
Is this your first child or do you have other children?
Graham is our 3rd boy. His older brothers areTai (8) and Tana (4).
How has your pregnancy been?
It was my 3rd, and I delivered right before my 38th birthday. I could definitely tell and feel the difference with the other two pregnancies in my early thirties. This pregnancy was both more emotionally and physically challenging. I have always despised the term geriatric pregnancy, but I have to say this pregnancy gave me a better understanding of its possible origin.
All mommy’s-to-be experience those crazy cravings! What’s been your guilty pleasure?
Ramen. I couldn’t get enough of the Garlic Tonkotsu from Kizuki Ramen. One of the silver linings of the Covid pandemic was the wider delivery radius serviced by area restaurants.
What was the inspiration for your maternity shoot?
Finding out I was having my 3rd boy was heartbreaking. Having longed for a mini-me, it took a while for me to wrap my head around my new reality. I couldn’t help but feel silly for being so disappointed; after all, I was having a healthy baby. That should be all that matters, right? Wrong! Finding out the gender LIVE on social media was as terrifying as it was freeing. The world got to see my authentic, unfiltered feelings. Many women saw themselves and no longer felt so alone. I took my time to heal, and through that healing came the inspiration for this shoot. If I was going to be the mother to KINGS, I wanted them to embrace and acknowledge their roots. My husband and I are both from Zimbabwe, but his family is originally from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa. With the help of a traditional Xhosa seamstress and beader Akasemhle, I designed our royal regalia for our maternity shoot. My dear friend and renowned photographer Carlyle recommended the desert in Eastern Washington. The location was perfect. The results were breathtaking. Long reign the Queen.
What is your biggest wish for your baby?
That he may grow up in a world that sees and values who he is. A world free from discrimination and racial bias. A world in which he can be anything and everything his heart desires and his imagination creates. Knowing his family will unconditionally love and support him along the way.
What is your advice for expecting mothers/parents?
It’s okay to ask for and get help. It takes a village to raise a mother and her children. Having been born and raised in Zimbabwe community is very important to me.
What’s an average day like in the life of The House of Khosa?
The House of Khosa, as I like to call it, is organized chaos at the moment with a baby in the house. I am blessed to have my mom living with us and helping with household chores and the boys. I went back to work at eight weeks postpartum; as an entrepreneur, I could not afford to stay out longer than that. I am fortunate enough to have flexible hours and work around the kids’ school schedule and Graham’s breastfeeding schedule.
How do you find a balance between family, work, and life?
Planning is everything. The busier we have gotten, we have had to stop and be intentional about EVERYTHING we do. Planning leave, vacations, job changes, business expansion, and even getting pregnant around the family and business is critical to our success. We also carve time out to spend as a family with dinner at 6:30 pm every night and movie night every Friday.
What is the key to successfully raising children?
Listen to them. When I take the time to stop and actually listen to what they are saying or watch what they are doing, I learn so much more about them and from them. I am better able to gauge and meet their needs.
Do you have any tips/daily routines to share with other parents that you find has helped create a healthy balance or positive behaviors in your children’s life?
Sitting down for dinner every night and taking turns to pray, stating what we are thankful for, has kept us grounded as a family.
What are three things that parents can do to build a strong relationship with their children?
- Listen to them.
- Acknowledge and apologize when you are wrong.
- Get help when you need it; there is no shame in asking for help. Whether it is from a family member or a nanny (ours is from Brazil), surrounding children with a diverse village to love and teach them about the world is priceless.
Maternity Shoot Vendors
- Photographer: Angela Carlyle
- Xhosa Traditional Outfit: Akasemhle