Taking it back to 2019, there was a beautiful young lady named Nobantu. She lived with her family in a two-roomed house in the village of Sehlakwane, Limpopo province. Nobantu’s father passed away when she was only five years old. Her mother and grandmother were the old people who tried by all means to put food on the table. Nobantu couldn’t endure the pain of seeing that. She worked hard at school and, by that time, she didn’t have friends.

Regardless of her background, she always kept her head high and worked hard at all times. All that changed a few months later when Nobantu found friends who were older than her. They loved partying, they had multiple boyfriends and they didn’t take education seriously.

One day Nobantu lied to her mother and went to her friend’s party. It was her first time. As Nobantu was on her way to the party, a gang of boys blocked her way.

“Hawu! Mamasita, uya vaar? (Hey! Sweetheart, where are you going?)” one of them asked.

Nobantu told them, with a shaky voice and a fearful body, that she was going to her friend’s party.

“Mina naMajida (me and the guys) can protect you all the way. We protect women from getting tortured. Akusi safe for wena ukuthi uzi hambele. Phela eSaaiplaas kude nasi lah. (It’s not safe for you to walk alone. Saaiplaas is too far away from here.)”

Nobantu was charmed and fell for his words. She allowed them to accompany her. Two houses away from Nobantu’s friend’s home, the boys blocked Nobantu’s way again.
“Since we brought you here, usibhadela malini (how much will you pay us)?” one of them asked.

“Ngiphethe, uR10 njeh, anginayo enye imali (I only have a R10, I have no other money),” she replied.

“R10? We want more. So how about we have you just for 30 minutes?”

Nobantu couldn’t find a way to run away. They covered her face with a sack and the next thing she felt was nothing but pain.

The next day she woke up under a tree on the side of the road. Her body was in pain, she was very dizzy and had a very heavy headache. He clothes were torn and there were syringes next to her. She tried by all means to seek help. Two women passing by saw her and she was taken to hospital.

Then it was found that Nobantu had been raped. It was a gang rape. That really changed her. She was full of revenge. She was hurt to the core, the pain she felt internally radiated externally. Many people felt sorry for her.
Her grandmother would say, “Mzukulu wami, impilo ngaphandle kwezinkinga ayinazithelo futhi ayifundisi (my granddaughter, life without problems is fruitless and does not teach),” whereas other people judged her, even the same friend she was going to that night of the incident.

Nobantu cried most nights. She cried until she felt asleep. She’d been hurt beyond measure and she blamed herself. There were days when she tried to end her life. Her family wanted what was best for her. They introduced her to counselling.
About a month later, she was better than before. Never minding what people said, she still walked higher and focused on her goals.

“Indeed, kukhona ukukhanya ekugcineni komhubhe (there is light at the end of the tunnel). I encourage you to aim higher and work harder. Whatever you’re going through shall pass one day. Always keep in mind that the mindset is what separates the best from the rest,” Nobantu concluded.


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