Themba was a homeless young man. He was 22 years old when he ran away from home after both his parents died due to a long illness. Themba had no siblings, so everything that belonged to his parents was taken away from him by relatives without any sympathy. He then decided to look for a home on the streets with other homeless people. Themba had a business mind but because of circumstances, he couldn’t get adequate education like he had hoped.
Life was tough on the streets; a bed was a cardboard box and food came from the rubbish bins. Most times it would be rotten or just bones. But in the streets anything that stopped the stomach from growling was good enough. When Themba first arrived in the street he had searched for a perfect and safe spot for himself. Everyone just looked at him like an intruder and he felt like he didn’t belong. He looked at them, trying to study them but his heart was racing with panic. He got a tap on his shoulder and almost jumped out of his skin with fright. He turned around and a huge and scary looking guy was standing in front of him.
“There is a perfect spot nearer, just follow me,” the guy said. Themba just stood there shocked. “Woza ndoda usabani? (Come here man, what are you afraid of?)
Themba just froze. The muscular guy got annoyed and grabbed him by his hand and dragged him. Because he was too strong, Themba just gave in. They arrived at the perfect spot. The perfect spot was an old abandoned building but inside it looked like any furnished house. Themba looked around and felt like he was finally home. He smiled like someone who had achieved something worthy but then reality hit him. What did this man want from him? What did he have that other people didn’t since he clearly chose him?
Themba’s smile faded and he started trembling.
The muscular guy looked at him and asked what was wrong.
“I am just not used to street life,” said Themba.
“Worry not because Bra Bazooka got your back.”
Themba’s eyes popped out. “What? Bazooka? Is that your real name?” Lord, have mercy, he thought to himself.
Bazooka’s eyes changed. “Any problem?”
“No, no, no, it’s just…uhm never mind,” said Themba.
“Good boy. Now put your backpack on top of that sponge and go and find food for me,” said Bazooka. “And be here in 30 minutes. God, I’m starving and if you’re back in thirty minutes then you will sleep outside.”
“That is abuse,” Themba said. “I think I’m gonna hate this life,” he mumbled.
“Look here young man, if you think you can cope on your own then take your stupid backpack and leave!” said Bazooka angrily.
Themba thought for a while and realised that it was better to be abused by a strong, one person, than to deal with many people out there on his own.
“Okay I will be here within thirty minutes,” he said and he ran as fast as he could to find food.
Themba, with his smart self, came up with an idea to act like a clown for people to give him money. And his plan succeeded. He put a box next to him where people threw money inside. After a while he asked people what time it was and realised that it was nearly half an hour later. He ran to the shops, bought enough food and also ate then saved some money for future use.
Themba rushed to where he now lived and when he got there he found his clothes scattered on the floor.
“What’s happening?” he asked but was told to never ask questions about anything.
He gave Bazooka the food and asked if he could also have some.
“Kids don’t eat the food that their elders eat,” said Bazooka.
“But I also have to eat,” responded Themba.
“Whatever you bring belongs to me young boy.”
Themba then realised that eating before he gives Bazooka food was going to be the best idea ever.