Most things we read around this time of the year are about romantic love, but there are many other types of love to appreciate – like the love that I have experienced for the past 25 years of my life. This love sort of just happened to me. I was three years old minding my own business, doing what three-year-olds do. I was introduced to a stranger and for some reason I was encouraged to touch and play with this stranger. You can imagine how confusing this was when all that my parents had drilled into my head was ‘stranger danger’.

She was tiny, almost as tiny as my dolls. I think what fascinated me was the fact that she moved and kind of looked like me. Obviously, as with all fascination at that age, I bit her. She screamed and started crying, and I remember being scared and worried because I figured that I had done something wrong, especially from the scolding look I received from my parents.

Meet my sister, Refiloe. She is now a 25-year-old living in Cape Town. She dated my first ever crush, had her first kiss at 18 in the rain on Christmas Day, and she is my best friend – she really is. Being three years her senior means that I am her go-to person for everything – I even wrote her a masturbation manual because what better lesson can you teach your little sister than one of self-love?

We had our first fight at university and it was a public one. We were at a speed-dating event that she and her friends had organised, and as you can probably imagine, a lot of sexist jokes were made. The radical feminist in me called them out. The event came to a sudden end when I stormed out with the friends I’d invited. My sister and I did not speak for three days.

It was during those days that I realised that life was just not the same without her in it. I had no one to talk to about my everyday life, and leaving my room didn’t make sense to me. Who would I have lunch with? Who would bring me a hangover meal and Coca-Cola after a night out? Who would walk me back to res after my lectures ended at 5pm because I was too scared to walk by myself after having been mugged on campus? Our family eventually intervened because we’d been calling home telling them about the fight. Even our friends got involved.

This fight taught me that I don’t love her because she’s my sister; I love her because we are each other’s source of strength. We know everything there is to know about each other and any judgement/criticism comes from a place of love – and we are wine buddies. She is sugar, spice and all things nice: all the things that day ones are made of.

By Boitumelo Moeketsi