I was having a chilled late afternoon sitting on a sofa inside the house watching the sun setting. Suddenly I heard a sound of helpless women and children screaming and yelling outside.

“Saze savelelwa nguwe asikwazi ukuhlala ngokuthula kulomuzi bakithi!” I felt my gut telling me something was terribly wrong.

My sister and I rushed out the house to see where the noise was coming from and who was dying. We found that the shouting was coming from our neighbours – where a granny, an older boy and a young girl lived.

We got to the gate of the neighbour’s house in a blink of an eye. As we went in the gate the crowd was chanting to the left of the house. They looked like they were preventing someone from escaping.

To the right, huddled on the ground outside the house there was the old granny and the young girl. They were crying. When I saw them I felt pain in my heart.

I rushed to them while my sister rushed to the crowd to find out what was going on. As I came closer to the granny I saw her eyes were filled with discharge and that her terrified face was very dusty. It was a windy day and in a rural area windy weather means inhaling dust that makes your eyes stream. Everything is gravel, hard and rough.

The little girl was sitting and crying next to the gogo. Her whole body was shaking.

“Sanibonani gogo!” I greeted. “Kwenzekalani gogo ubani ufayo?” I asked.

“Hey, mntanami sekuyikho lokho,” gogo replied looking helpless. “Usipho ufuna ukubulala nangu umzukulu uNandipha ngenduku manje omakhelwane bazotekelela,” she explained.

Tears started flooding out of the little girl’s eyes. Her name was Nandipha. She had lost her voice. In that moment I knew what had happened to her was abuse.

I said to granny, “Ay, kuzolunga gogo.”

I ran to the crowd only to find the boy, Sipho, held in a circle so that he couldn’t escape. His eyes were red, he looked like trapped beast.

“None of you can handle your families yet you are telling me how to handle mine,” he shouted at me.

The crowd responded with one voice.

“Wazini ngoku’handlisha wena?”

“Ingane eyonile iyashawa bakwethu,” Sipho defended himself.

“Awww istruubheka uyolala ejele wena today!” One of the ladies shouted.

In that moment a police van drove in and took Sipho away. Granny and Nandipha felt safe again.