I wonder if I wondered too much, will I wonder no more because wondering has showered me painful scenes. I have seen the realities that we as South Africans face in our everyday lives. Private life has been exposed for the young to see and to be influenced. Peer pressure seems to be the driving force towards how street life is lived. Under street lights you see 3-6 year old boys and girls playing ‘‘ndize’’ hiding from dark spaces under these street lights. No parents looking out for them.

The street is addictive because everyone wants to fit in. Children are victims because the parents have work. Overtime and late shifts happen, meanwhile children live alone every day since mom and dad use their time satisfying the bosses and companies more than looking after their families. More time at work means less time with family. The father becomes so stressed and anger becomes his only option to discipline his own children.

Street life has become more educational than what most parents can offer their children because they spend more time doing other stuff than fulfilling their parenting roles. Family teachings are challenged by street influence through how they are taught inside the house versus how they learn outside in the street. Families apart no amendment because the child has been exposed to the fights between parents. Divorce plays a major role in how the child grows up and what the child learns.

We live in places where alcohol defines how dominant you are over your partner. Wives and children becomes a punching bag just because “uthe umakhelwane” or else “ndim’imindoda apha”, while men kill and rape. Seeing our teenage sisters falling pregnant while they are caught in the motion of love and belonging — something that is missing in the family cycle. Abuse is living within many hearts. It encourages the silence in most victims like the voices in her mind that keeps on saying “uzuxele ndizokubulala”. I imagine all the pain my sisters always go through every day. In her face it is painted and it hurts more when I see women hate on other women. First check how they look at each other when the woman passes by and hear what they say after she had just passed them.

It’s rare to see woman taking a stand for other women and I don’t know why. Maybe it’s to do with fashion, like how she dresses brings attention to the vipers of the street uve aba bhuti besithi “akesemhle lo” — okay maybe they have taken it too far. Because what I see is a young teenage girl full of fear, a scared little soul who longs for care, but the street provides none. Street life makes you long for things you can’t afford. Sisters in high heels, but children are left alone in the night while mom goes out parting with the friends and new boyfriends.

Seeing a father stays home all day with the face of a monster. He seems depressed, he’s been treated like a child ever since he lost his job. Ekasi respect is earned while some might force to change its cause by relying on violent actions in order to solve a case closed. Abduction of children should open our eyes because this shows that human trafficking is a danger, we still face it after all these years. Women are strangled and choked just because they are a different gender. In families, we pretend to live together while some have their own desires that seem to favour themselves.

I have seen jealousy prevail in families and hate has become a norm while some want the inheritance of the family. Single parents are working hard to put food on the table, but my question is how do you then make time to bond with your children?

Growing up in a working-class family where love and care were never made priority, only shouting heard every day — that was my daily bread. I know that if I came home late no one would be bothered because no one cares where I’ve been or what I’ve eaten.

I used to watch my stepdad beat up my mother. One day I had enough. I stabbed him. In my heart I wanted to see him dead. Even now it still hurts when I speak of it. He has created a pain that would never cease. Sometimes I just ask myself what would it be like to have been raised by both parents?


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