Many people have lived the struggle; they’ve fallen deep into poverty. Max is one of those people. He also came from a background of poverty, but he was taken away by God.

I knew Max for six years. I watched him crawl on his knees to attain success, always trying to do his best and have the best. He didn’t enjoy his teenage years like many other teens around him; he was always studying. My life was different to his. I had everything I wanted growing up, all I had to do was click my fingers whenever I wanted something and I would get it. Max didn’t visit me much, even though we were good friends. He preferred to stay indoors away from people’s judgements and negative attitudes towards him. He didn’t want to hear how poor he was or how dirty his clothes were or other bad things they had to say about him.

I admit he and his family were very poor but what I didn’t know about him was how badly he felt about the things that people in the community were saying about him. Had I known, I would have encouraged him to believe in himself more and be a better friend to him. His family couldn’t afford the basics that I took for granted; they couldn’t afford to buy food and often drank a lot of water to fill their stomachs.

He told me that he drank a cup of water for breakfast and I cried because it was sad. I then decided to save my money so that I could buy him and his family food with it. I liked Max’s ambition; he dreamed of getting his family out of poverty and worked hard at school towards achieving that. He was smart, a mastermind in Maths and Science; he always received the highest marks out of all the learners at school.

Now that he’s gone I feel bad because he didn’t realise his dream, he didn’t get his family out of poverty. He finished high school but just as he was about to start varsity, he died in a car accident. I was shocked when I heard the news of his passing. At first I cried wondering how God could take him away when there were so many people that were worse than what he was, he was a good person. I still kept the promise that I had made to him, that I would help take care of his family and I still do.


Tell us: Do you believe that that the good ones don’t live long? What do you think this is?