It was in the late 90’s that was no longer the apartheid era, but in my life I’d swear it was the beginning of the domination. Everything seemed and looked upside down – different – and a sixth sense in me took the hint to find out why I felt this way. As you travel through the journey of discovery, you find people that disapprove of what you stand for. Some judge you for who you are while some disapprove of what’s beautiful and amazing under that ugly frame.

Just like a shack made of tin while everybody expects it to be made of wood, bricks, iron and cement and it is just metal. You see, people expect us to be what they want us to become, but in actual truth we can’t because we are a rainbow; humans from a rainbow nation with different capabilities, covers and functions and a beautiful painted sky in stripes of a different order. The thing is I can’t be you, but I can be me and stand within my flaws.

One beautiful morning during one of those bright summer days, where there is hardly wind and pale, worn-out flowers kept falling down and going astray to nearby streams to pile about on those banks and prevent us from brewing water for useful work. That was how I felt. Tired of not being enough and trying so hard to change who I am for some people who put no effort or appreciation towards me, instead they failed to accept me. I got tired of seeking something that was right in my hands, but I just couldn’t use it.

Growing up as the child who could never say ‘cheese’ to the camera because of her missing tooth, being bullied and scared to smile because of that gap. Being ashamed to report it to an adult and scared of what their reaction may be, or what they’d say while trying hard to hide it, but it breaks you at every chance it gets.

Nothing is as hard as waking up every morning with no purpose, no dreams, no goals because people underestimate what you can do. They think you cannot do it, but the truth is you can and you will; the question is how far you are willing to go to get what you want.

I wasted my time caring about what people thought about me, but what about me and what I think? I watch gangsters in robberies doing crime and the hard part is deciding about them instead of trying to understand why they do what they do, because every action has an explanation. Behind those tough criminal masks lie untold stories- stories from the heart worth every minute, but we as humans as the ‘Ubuntu’ reign, we turn our backs when they need us the most. It could be a word you say that might turn their lives around, but what are we busy doing? Throwing our words tied and bound by judgements that don’t build us or them, but destroy the only thing we believe in. Repentance, love, attention and strength. Behind every bright colour lives a wound that has its own story in its own time.

I grew up, neglected and with not much attention on me. I grew up to seek refuge in porn, smoking and stealing. So in all these things I grew to have an affection for money because I wanted to have a “crew” and belong or be loved. I didn’t know what it meant, but I desperately wanted it and it didn’t make things any easier for me. The stealing became a regular thing. I’d take my fees and spend it on my friends then I’d take an old receipt, use chalk to rub out what was written on it and make up my own.

I got to a certain stage that I truly needed to change; I just couldn’t carry on like that, but it wasn’t easy on my own. Mom never believed that I could change and become a new person. I was always that ‘thief’ in her eyes and not her child. Every time I’d asked for money, she’d remind me of my past, forgetting that I’m not perfect and that I do make mistakes, but she built me. I’m a strong woman who believes in God and knows how it is out there. I offer no condemnation because I’ve been there and done that, but she’ll always be that woman who never believed in me.

Now you know. Don’t judge a book by its cover because you don’t know how many pages it can hold. Just celebrate and entertain its presence.