Once upon a time I forced myself into a stranger’s life, not knowing I would become his role model and also his best friend.

This stranger has a name, he is Yanga. Yanga is a very shy and quiet person with a kind heart. When Yanga and I first met I had judged him before asking about his background. When we finally got introduced, I realised we were in the same class and neither of us had any friends.

It was on the first day of school that I finally took a chance and went straight to him and introduced myself. He just stood there and stared at me like I was the crazy one. He replied later and told me his name is Yanga, we became friends afterwards. After the intro we went to the school’s tuck shop to buy something for lunch but Yanga said he was fine, he didn’t want anything. In my mind I had thought he had lunch made from home.

On our way home I noticed Yanga was worried about something but kept it secret, even though I asked him what was wrong. As time went by, I noticed that Yanga had personal problems. At school, the principal and our class teacher had called me in and asked about Yanga, how he lived at home and who he lived with.

Ever since I was called in I had decided to ask Yanga about his home and parents, knowing that he might tell me to mind my own business. But I decided to take the chance. If he was being abused or going to bed on an empty stomach, I would rather be in trouble than to let him suffer by himself. I found out Yanga lived with his stepmother. She would let him go to bed on an empty stomach and sometimes chased him out of the house to sleep on the street and did not care about what could happen to him out there.

After Yanga told me this, I felt so bad and immediately told my mother about what was happening. My mother offered him a place to stay and she even went to the school and asked for help so that social workers could get involved. We received help from them at the end.

Yanga ended up living with us and my mother treated him like her own. That made me happy because I always wished that one day I could be able to help someone my age and my wish came true. I am willing to help someone else in the future again.