Community: a social group of any size, whose members reside in a specific location, share the same government and often have a common cultural and historical heritage. As a community is the place where every resident wishes to feel safe, I feel unsafe in my own community because of violence; I have lived each and every day of my life wondering what is going to happen the following day.

I was born and bred in Venḓa, in a small community called Dzingahe. Growing up in that particular community I observed many things both terrific and hideous. Love is one of the terrific things I observed because people in my community loved and respected each other, they also supported one another through joy and sorrow, but not every resident who stays there, has a splendid heart. Some are so malicious that they don’t even care about other people’s feelings.

When I was young, uncountable incidents happened and they were scary, because people lost their lives, but it stopped for a while. Until not so long ago the same incidents were happening momentarily. There was a clique of guys who were killing and robbing people. It was no longer safe for us to go out – it was scary because people were dying like chickens. We were jailed in our own community, the place where we were supposed to feel safe and free.

As scary as those incidents were, they were not just happening, they were caused by plenty of things. Such things include: lack of education and unemployment. Most of the youngsters in my community are uneducated, others are unemployed so they spend most of their time on the street, smoking and drinking alcohol, which is doing nothing, but destroying their future and minds. Others engage themselves in drugs and end up getting high, after they do things without conscience.

They caused a lot of effect on my life, they took away the part that was integral and it will never be repaired, by that I genuinely cannot fathom what has happened recently. I cannot even fathom the affliction of those who were raped, because when I was a minor I experienced the same trauma. I nearly got raped when I was five years old. It was during the week and I was in crèche. No one knew how it happened because the crèche security was very tight, but the group of guys managed to sneak in. It was like they were there only for me because they attacked only me, they wanted to do their business, but I thank God it did not happen because one of the gardeners saw them strangling me and they ran away. That was the worst day of my life, I cried like nobody’s business. What happened that day is that I planted a seed of hatred in my heart, and as a result I grew up hating men, thinking that they all abuse woman, even today as a 23 year old grown up woman. I don’t even have a boyfriend because it is not easy for me to relate – they approach, but I reject every proposal.

Surely those incidents didn’t affect only my life, but it affected the community as a whole, because the number of deaths and robberies are increasing daily. There is no peace at all because people were always worrying about losing their loved ones.

Therefore, my wish and all residents’ wish are to see such incidents being terminated and prevented from happening. This can only happen if we gather the uneducated youngsters and teach them the significance of education. Also by teaching them how hideous the violence is, its effect on the community and by providing jobs for the unemployed, so that they will spend their time working, rather than having papers and sitting with them at home doing nothing. Hopefully by doing that we will finally live in harmony.