As a child, I tended to think that life was all about having fun and making choices that will only benefit the situation you are currently facing. But the truth of the matter is, life is about making choices that will help you as an average human being determine your future. And also help move forward in the years to come in this never-ending journey we call life.

When people are asked what we are to expect in the future, we always get the same answers. ‘There will be flying cars, houses built on water and everything so supernatural.’ In fact, we could start to think about which of the problems we are facing will be solved and which would have become worse.

Well, in Phumla’s world that is not the case. She is a beautiful and out-going 17-year-old girl in the 12th grade. She lives in the outskirts of Umtata village in the Eastern Cape, which is not very safe to live in. People around the village were easily prone to very dangerous diseases and viruses. Meanwhile, poverty and child-headed households were very normal in their village.

Besides living in one of the worst of places in the entire world, her life was ten times worse than her surroundings. Three months after her mother passed away she was raped by her stepfather. She decided to report it, but it wasn’t considered because rape was not considered a criminal offence anymore. That left her destitute, vulnerable and pregnant with her stepfather’s child and having to take care of her three siblings, Thandi, Ashley and Thabo.

The horrific situation was too much for her to handle since she couldn’t apply for any welfare money to assist her. It had been discontinued because of the failing currency of our country. But being the strong and courageous person that she was, Phumla wouldn’t just let the situation she was in make her feel sorry for herself.

Despite the situation she found herself in, Phumla continued going to school. She was very focused and determined to complete her high school education. She wanted to make her mother proud, and more especially give her siblings and unborn child the life they’ve always dreamt of. Big houses and cars that could take them wherever they wanted in a blink of an eye.

But one day, their dream was almost ruined by someone Phumla despised with her heart, someone who almost ruined her life and education because of his cold heartedness ways. But her stepfather was really in for a big surprise, because that was the day Phumla put her foot down and stood up for herself and three siblings. This helped put him in his place and he stopped harassing and abusing them and made Phumla very happy and proud of herself.

During the holidays, Phumla worked 3 different jobs that helped her put some food on the table and take care of her unborn baby. Schools re-opened for the last term and Phumla made sure she had great marks. Indeed all her hard work paid off as she passed her matric with an exemption and managed to get a scholarship to pay for her varsity fees and everything else.

Two months later, Phumla gave birth to her son and was able to get several jobs. She got herself and her siblings a nice and simple house in the city. She was able to take care of her own family.

A few years later, Phumla finished her studies and became a full-time commercial lawyer and started her own law firm. She was so overjoyed to live the life she always wanted for herself and her family and wanted nothing or anyone to ruin it for her. She was sure that her mother was very proud of her wherever she was.

This proves that no one is a failure and you can be whatever you want to be as long as you put to it.