When I was fourteen years old my mother went to Gauteng Province and as the eldest, I had to take care of the younger siblings. There were strangers in the community and they knew that my mother had left me. They tried to scare me. I chose this event because I will never forget it in my life. I learnt how to deal with strangers.

One day at midnight when we were sleeping, the strangers came to my house and they suddenly pushed the door and got inside the room. They got out their knives and said to me I must not cry. I was very scared but I tried to be brave. They were wearing balaclavas so that I could not see them.

My first thought was if I show them I am afraid they would do anything they wanted. I felt fear but I had to be brave so that they might think there was someone else.

Thinking back, it means to me that I was not the victim of strangers as they went without doing anything that day. I learnt that when you don’t show fear to the ones who want to threaten you, they might leave you and they will also have fear. I will never forget that because I learnt a lot from it.

Even if you know that the intruder is the boss of the strangers, you have to be brave. I did not know whether they wanted to rape me or kill me, but I had to be brave. Be brave no matter what the situation is – whether they want your wallet or cellphone – do not have fear.