My community of Elandskraal – let us just say we present ourselves as ordinary people. We all have our own flaws, with neighbours minding each other’s business. Never forgetting the gossiping that goes on behind closed doors, under trees and on corners of the streets.

I’m concerned about the future of misguided youth – those who refuse to be taught right from wrong. They need to be motivated, encouraged, and guided. This would lead to better education, less pregnancies and less alcoholism. My big wish is to bring them together to show case their real talents. The youth are totally lost and resort to crime. The level of crime seems to be on the rise around the community. To some, school is just a place for having fun – a space for them to get through lonely hours, instead of being a place to gain knowledge.

Alcohol seems to be the dominant substance in my hood. Most people pride themselves in being proclaimed buyers. Whoever seems to buy more is seen as an idol to others. Most people hang with them because they find it cool. Alcohol is the main cause of fights, accidents, and abuse.

I feel lost in the hood. I probably say this because I do not find drinking alcohol a cool thing. If somebody was to ask me, “Where do you want to live?” My answer would be, ” Anywhere but Elandskraal. I feel like I don’t fit in, because most things people my age do, I’m not interested in.”

“I don’t find smoking weed, dating or drinking alcohol cool. My main concern is that I might end up having to find those things cool in order to fit in” I would say.

Let me indulge you with what I think a perfect hood would be: a hood where youth have resources, where youth are constantly motivated and assisted to see their full potential. To me, that would be a cool hood – a hood that makes my mood good and serves as soul food. Right now, my hood is my hood because my home is built there, but I do feel like a perfect stranger.

My hood is home. There is always light at the end of every tunnel, right? Let us find my light in my hood. One thing that makes my community a home is the compassion for humanity. Once there was a one young criminal who raped, stole, and beat people. The community took a stand to hunt him down and bring him to justice. We all filled the streets, bushes and rivers to chase him, till he handed himself to the police. It was a united front by the people of my hood. It was scary, exciting and the bravest experience of my life.

No matter which grudges or fall out others have, when it’s necessary we will stand together, through times of tears, concerns and dangers. Our religious, perceptions, and cultures may differ. As part of South Africa, we are bound to respect one other. We are a democratic country divided into democratic societies.

My community also has its up and downs, but at the end of the day we must come together as one, to heal, comfort and sympathise with others. Not only in times of pain, but also of joy, laughter and celebration. It is the spirit of Ubuntu. We are just a normal community struggling to find its feet.

That is the story about my hood. At the end of the day home is where the heart is, learn to live with what you are born with and turn it into something better later on.