I was in Grade 12 doing the best for me, I suppose. I thought I should just drop out of school and look for a job, and for a moment, that was really a good idea. I remembered I was underage, a 16-year-old girl about to turn 17 years old in a few months, I actually thought of looking for a job and that was funny to my friends. But yes, life on my side was rough. Remember, I’m living in a developing country where most blacks are suffering and I was one of them.

I had to attend morning classes with an empty stomach until breaktime, which was war at my school. If I didn’t have pocket money or a lunchbox, automatically I had to be a good soldier. I remember there was this boy called Mphatsi, he was our classroom commander when it came to food. He was the only one fetching our classroom pots, his friends would usually get four big spoons each, the rest one and a quarter. They would be rangers holding their lunchboxes or kota, fighting for justice shouting to the commander, “Hey, hey wena urobha labantwana nabo bayafuna kusutsa!” It was that bad. I was so sure Mphatsi would be a caterer but life happened, he turned out to be the one fighting for justice, Sergeant Gama, oh! what a waste of experience.

Food was an issue at home, at school and everywhere my face turned. My home was enough to exhaust me; I was living with an emotionally and verbally abusive stepfather who I wanted to leave. I wanted to run away but I had nowhere to go, and for that reason I needed something to de-stress. One beautiful Saturday by the stream, busy minding my own personal issues, there came a young fine guy. I wasn’t interested in him but he was interested in me. He asked for my number, I gave it to him. I thought he would became a good de-stressing substance.

Our relationship was one of those where we didn’t care about each other; he wanted sex, I wanted to pass the time. Indeed he was a good de-stressing substance, but consequences are always there, and within an inch of time I was pregnant. It was a good thing but not in the type of relationship I was in, besides that, I was also 17 years old. My baby-daddy only had sexual problems while I was having real ones.

My home situation went from zero to negative hundreds. The only thing that was left for me was to lower my pride and ask for help. Help from who? Baby-daddy, social media or social workers. I asked myself over and over again why I was still alive, my life existed only in heaven. I thought maybe me being here on earth was a huge mistake created by God but I guess he had a reason. I was struggling, I cried day in and day out.

One day I felt a huge pain in my stomach. I thought it was normal pain, you’d be surprised how much pain I handled. I was in labour and I didn’t know, I thought I was so sick that I couldn’t hold a pee. My mom saw me and rushed me to the hospital. My daughter was about to come into the world full of misery, full of pain. The minute I heard her cry something so strong filled my heart. My soul was fed with love for the first time in a few years and I hoped for a greater life. I studied day in and day out with an empty stomach, I dreamed big dreams and I passed my matric with excellent marks. Hope visited me on the 27th of October and never left me, not even on the toughest days of my remaining life.


Tell us: What brings you hope in life?