It seems as if being woken up by the noise of people in the street is the new thing here in Delmon. Every day the situation gets worse than before. Thinking back I would have never thought that the year 2044 would bring so many challenges, that it would divide a nation and destroy lives. Each time I look outside my window I see destroyed and burned houses. But what is most sad is that I see destroyed lives and broken hopes lingering around the streets. With hearts filled with sorrow and pain for friends and families they lost and for their homes which are destroyed.

I get dressed and go outside to see what the commotion is about today, since it seems like something is always wrong and somebody’s house is being burned as punishment for crimes they’ve committed. It seems like the people have all lost their sense of thinking and somewhat resort to burning whenever they have grievances and problems.

When I get outside I see that the street is filled with people and they are all moving towards something which I can’t see from the back. So I shove myself through the crowd, getting a few looks from very angry people. I can see that whatever is going on, people aren’t happy about it at all. I finally get to where everyone was headed and I notice that it’s the Dlamini house. It has been surrounded by protesters holding matches and petrol, and it seems like they are about to set it on fire.

“Good morning Gogo,” I say to an old lady who looks very irritated standing next to me.

“What’s good about this morning? Actually, is there ever any good morning here in Delmon?” She says in a husky voice.

“Well Gogo, what’s going on here? Why do these people want to burn the Dlamini house?” I ask.

“Well, apparently Mrs Dlamini’s son stole a computer from the community lab so these people have set out to burn the house and the whole family down with it. But we all know that the real reason is because the boy was speaking up against these people’s corruption and the community was starting to support him.”

After hearing those words from the Gogo, I was just in so much shock that our own people could take the lives of a family because of their fear of being exposed. I couldn’t even move my mouth to respond because I was so shocked. All I could do was watch as the house went down and heard the cries as the Dlaminis burned to death. Something in my body ached to help them for I couldn’t bear to hear them in pain. But I just couldn’t move.

I think I sat there watching the house till it was very dark and someone came to take me home.

I didn’t even see who it was. All I could see was the house as it turned to ashes and the lives of the Dlaminis were lost. After sitting in my room for days, trying to process what I had witnessed, something in me finally realised that poverty, corruption, crime and inequality were what ruled this country. They had for many years now. This is something that I knew of but I just turned a blind eye to it, like the rest of South Africa.

I finally realised that all those people who lost their houses it wasn’t because they had done something wrong, but it was actually because they had done something right. They had spoken up against this injustice they saw. I always thought it had nothing to do with me so I just ignored what was happening but having just experienced it for myself I just knew that it had to stop. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t just sit around and watch as more lives were lost and young children’s hopes and dreams were destroyed. I had to do something. I had to change this bad tradition which the whole community had adapted to or more lives would be lost.

The following day I wake up and for once I had hope that life will be better.

I actually looked forward to what the future holds and it was not because the current situation in Delmon was great. It was all because of a decision, a decision which begins with you and one which I made. I have decided to stand up for myself, my family and for my community and to fight for our rights. I cannot stand by and watch as corruption, inequality and crime takes over. I have decided to stop living in fear and start being a voice for those I know need one.

I know that it won’t be an easy journey and one without challenges. I know that I might lose my life or that I might get hurt. But I believe that the results of freedom and restored hope will be all worth it. The journey of building a nation has never been easy and it will not be easy for me. I will get knocked down along the way but I plan on rising as many times as it takes to reach victory. And no matter what happens, I won’t rest until at the end I can look outside my window and see hope, happiness and love on people’s faces and I can say I did it. But even if I don’t succeeded, I can proudly say I tried and died trying!