When you live in a place where unemployed people are more than the people who actually work, you find it difficult to know your purpose in life. Even if you’re sure you want to be something, but everywhere you look you see an unemployed graduate and so it becomes difficult to see your future. I am one of five children, I am doing grade nine this year. In a few years I will be doing my matric. I want to be an architect when I am finished with school. I wanted to be an artist at first, but my sister said it’s difficult to be a paid artist in our days.
I am known as the nerd in my area because I watch a lot of television, help my sister with taking pictures and I play computer and cell phone games a lot. I like sport, but only from a distance. I tried to play rugby, but it was too extreme for me. I am from a township where most of the people are either too good at sport and hate school or love school, but are struggling to get through. I am from a community that respect politics more than the basic needs.
My sister believes that almost everyone who has ever made it in life has left the area so it’s hard to find educated role models. I have never met anyone who is an architect, but thanks to Google, I know what the architects do. As an artist, I write my future through my painting because I am scared that people will think that I dream too big. People say only a few individuals make it out to be successful. There could be many reasons, I have not found out yet, but I can assure you that I will work hard until my ancestors say it’s enough my son, you have done your best.
My hood is far from perfect. The houses are still made out of sinks and ceiling boards, we still have no rugby and cricket field, churches are still for older people and young people still do not see behind the train tracks where it separates whites from the coloureds and blacks.
Most people are unlikely to succeed in my community. But I am from a different generation. I may not have everything I need or come from a successful home, but I will make it. I may feel deprived when I walk in the beautiful suburbs of Stellenbosch, maybe even feel a little jealous at times, but I know that one day is one day. My hood is underrated, hence nobody thinks there is goodness that can come from it.
Me and my friends will make it, we call ourselves the second generation of the dwellers. The kings of kings, the history makers, we are the future leaders of this community.
Our parents can sleep well at night because we will not be part of the statistics. We will not do drugs, we will not dropout and we will stay at my house and draw down our own future. I have no reason to want to want to escape, I will be the change everyone ran away from once they kiss success. I love my hood. It’s not perfect, but it is enough for me, for now.