I remember coming home from school when my mother told my brother and I that she had bought a new home for us in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town. I was very nervous to start a new life and make new friends, but I could see the excitement in my brother’s eyes so I pretended to be excited as well, but deep down I was anxious.

We moved into our new home in July 2010. This was during the South African FIFA world cup. Everyone was dressed up in all of the South African flag colours – we could see the sense of togetherness in this community. Everyone was screaming and going up and down in our street; I suspected there was a goal scored by one of the participating teams.

The next morning when the excitement of the goal had settled we heard somebody knocking on our door. We were shocked because we knew that nobody knows us and we were 100% sure that nobody saw us moving in yesterday. My mother opened the door and it was the couple that stays next door to us (Uncle Larry and Mrs Larry). They were very friendly and told us that they saw us moving in yesterday, but they could not come because they were watching the match.

They welcomed us and even invited us to watch the next match from their house. It was at this point I knew that this was a place I could call home. They had a big screen that could almost accommodate the whole community. We were very happy to meet every single one of our neighbours in Mrs Larry’s house.

I honestly feel at home in my hood, it has been eight years of good memories, fruitful conversations and joyous events. I have made five friends, my brother is the happy and bubbly boy that he has always been and my mother has joined the stokvel. I cannot believe that I once hesitated to be part of this amazing area. It is a diverse area and yes, some of us have different skin colours, but that does not stop us from loving each other unconditionally. We are family in my hood.