Everyone has their own story, well mine is not just a story, it’s a movie. In a small township, Ekangala, lived a shy, dark, young and innocent girl by the name of Precious. She lived with her mother, siblings and grandmother. Well, she had no father figure as he had left to another country when she was still in Grade 2. She was currently in Grade 9. Her mother was a single parent, who strived to give them everything they needed but neglected herself.
Primary school years were tough for her.
“Just look at how ugly she is, ke black mantsu,” mocked her peers continuously.
She was a quiet girl, in fact a shy girl, but besides all that, an incredibly intelligent girl. Life went on with the same and even worse comments on her skin tone, she wouldn’t stand up for herself, she would just cry herself to sleep.
No one knew she was hurting, not even her mother. She had a happy personality but a sad soul. She eventually tried to stand up for herself against all odds, she would try to please herself by continuously repeating a type of mantra, “I am black and beautiful, the Lord made me out of His own image. He loves me and my family loves me, so I don’t need anyone else’s love,” she said in her defence.
Although this was something she would say, she would never say, “I love myself just the way I am.” She ended up realising that the more quiet she was, the more people would use her. She became stone-hearted, bitter and full of hate just to protect herself.
She built a wall around herself and enclosed herself in her own world because she felt inferior. She always made sure everyone else was happy but in that process neglected herself. She always hid away from the rest of the world but she would always be there amongst them.
She was a girl with potential; she went far in life with her poetry. She even became the Nelson Mandela Children’s Parliament madam speaker. She was slowly coming out of this shell of hers, she was like a cocoon which remained sealed for many years.
When she was crying, her mother and aunt would ask, out of concern, “Hey, what’s wrong, talk to us.”
She would just smile with those tears flowing down her cheeks and say, “Nothing.”
That would always be her answer. One word call her a weird girl.
Then down the line sometime in life, she got to high school and was separated from those she loved and became friends with in her primary school. Life had all sorts of knots and twists, although during these times she realised that those she loved and considered friends, didn’t see her worth.
By then, it didn’t even hurt because she had become a cold-hearted young girl. She became taller and her low self-esteem shot up. She realised that people would definitely not understand how she felt because it’s always easier said than done.
“Yes, you have to love yourself, why do you have such a low self-esteem?” they would continuously say.
Grade 8 was tough, it came with a lot of challenges but built her. The new year came and changed her. A “her” with more grit, perseverance, ambition and power but a “her” with burdens from the past that still cut through her. It came with a stronger person and definitely a less caring person. A whole lot more is still waiting for her ahead.
“Till next time, we shall meet again. It’s a new chapter and a new page. Dear 2020…”
Tell us: What did you think of this piece?