I grew up in a family where I didn’t have the privilege to own a phone because my parents were domestic workers. Their salaries were just enough to buy food and other needs in the house.

Given the circumstances of not owning a phone, I had difficulties maintaining my friendship with my closest friend because she spent most of her time on social media. I felt like I was not worth her attention anymore, that my presence was unnoticed. I remember one day I came across a challenge and decided to go visit her. When I arrived I found her on a couch, eyes glued to her cell phone, her face filled with excitement. At that moment I knew she was having the best day of her life. I slowly sat beside her.

With the excitement of being with her, I felt free to share my problem. With my head bowed, I painted her a picture of my challenge. But sadly she didn’t hear a single word I uttered to her, because as usual, she found a better friend to listen to through social media. I looked up to her and the only words that came from her mouth were: “Oooh, Facebook is so interesting, take a look at this post!!”

It clicked to my brain that Facebook was coming between our friendship. Facebook was gonna replace me. After 5 minutes I said my goodbyes and went home. I sunk deep within my bedroom and burst into an ocean of tears. I was so heartbroken. I even blamed my parents for not buying me a cell phone.

Even though I had challenges with my friend and was in need of a cell phone, I continued to dedicate more time to my school work. When I was in Grade 9 my life changed completely. I got chosen to attend an after-school program for highly gifted students in my community. An extensible program that selects top 10 students which are driven to bring change to their communities, around Nkomazi. While I was doing Grade 11, I met my dearest friend who changed my world. It was after school when one of the facilitators from the program gave me a Kindle, I was so grateful.

My kindle is special to me because I get to read books from any genre and my reading has helped me to reconnect with my friend since I was able to share what I read with her. As a result, she also fell in love with reading. With my Kindle, I can download previous question papers for studying and be updated on what’s happening around the world through reading newspapers. I can use my Kindle to send emails and watch educational and personal development YouTube videos.

My life changed from zero to hero. I felt a sense of belonging to this world and to my closest friend, all because of the kindle that I still use even today.