Tshepo Dlamini was a young boy who was born in the dark shacks of Thokoza, an abandoned place where there was no water supply. The only thing that kept them alive was the water tank that came around to their place of joy once a week. We might say that the world is not fair, but for them, living was torture. Most of the children born in this place never dreamed of a better future. Tshepo was a born writer and a poet. He was always aiming at the stars, wishing to shoot up and be great.
The road to greatness for young Tshepo was not as simple as for any child with both parents. Tshepo was an orphan and he lived in a small tin house with his grandma, who was very old and they depended on her pension to eat. When he was 13, he lost his grandma and he was left alone. Every day he would write poems and short stories, but it came to a point where everyone in the community hated young Tshepo as he had no clothes and no children played with him. They used to laugh at him and call him a hobo and a son with no origin.
One day he decided to go on a journey to the city. He spent some nights without food and life was hard. The only thing that kept the young boy going was that he never forgot about his dreams. He was always trying to get talent out of the dream he had. He was a talented boy who used to perform his poems on street corners to get something to eat.
People used to call him crazy. When they looked at him, they saw a boy who had no way forward and he was oppressed and depressed. He was too young, yet he was stressed. They told him he had no life and he would never get far. For him, getting somewhere was only in a fantasy land, and all the child wanted was to get up and teach people how to write poetry. One day, on the cold, rainy streets of Johannesburg, he was starving. He was crying and reciting some of his poems when an old white man came across him, gave him food and decided to give him shelter.
Tshepo used to say dreams do have wings; they can levitate. He wrote pieces for the old man who saw pure talent and encouraged young Tshepo to keep up the good work. At times Tshepo thought of quitting but he was the gardener for this old man and he never found time to write his pieces, yet he never quit. He persisted and one day on the corner where the old man lived, there was a small poetry session. When little Tshepo climbed onto the stage, he didn’t know there were promoters and sponsors watching and wanting to recruit young poets.
He climbed onto the stage and the crowd started screaming: “Get off the stage, you crazy illiterate boy!”
He shivered and wanted to get off, but one person in the crowd said: “Give the young boy a chance!” He recited his poem of how he struggled and left everyone surprised and at the same time cheering. He got a record deal and did well with his poems and is a great poet when it comes to the region he is located in.
People who never respected Tshepo and called him crazy started respecting him, and he forgave all of them. Even if he was called crazy, he believed that he held some talent that people didn’t see and couldn’t relate to. He was a dreamer, and the people who judged him were ashamed.
There was a poem he wrote about what people did to him, because they judged the book by the way it looked on the outside and would never know the truth of the inner soul which was the talent that young Tshepo had. He continued and became a great writer and now owns a poetry school in the dark streets of Johannesburg where he is the only light for many people. Tshepo made something great out of his struggle, and he saw the light of his future being bright because he was a dreamer.