My home is Lebowakgomo, a very big township, which is located in Limpopo with different sections. I live in a section named Zone B. I was not born there; I only started living there when I was 5 years old. I used to play with boys when I was young and my neighbours used to think I was a tomboy, but I was not. I just that I preferred to play with boys.

When I was doing my 5th grade I started playing with girls, they were younger than me. We always got into trouble and my neighbours always blamed me for the bad things we did. I even thought my neighbour didn’t like me because she would sometimes tell my mom, that I said she didn’t change her night dresses for a month, but it was actually a lie, she only wanted me to fight with my mom. My friends were fun to play with. Sometimes after school, we would bully older boys and run away or throw stones at them. The only thing that we did to stay out of trouble was to play games or just sit and tease each other.

In 8th grade, my friends started making new friends because I was in high school and was also making new friends. They started seeing me as the enemy, always mocking me or talking behind my black, until one day I could not take it any longer. I approached them and slapped one of them. Later on, she told her mom and they came to my home. My mom did not take my side of the story, instead she took the other girl’s side. She yelled at me that night and told me never to play outside again. The only thing that broke my heart is that she always believed someone else, rather than me. I always felt like a stranger in my home.

In 12th grade, I began to focus on my schoolwork and I had one friend who was my age. She lived a few houses away from me and my mom actually loved her. I always visited her during the weekends. One day my neighbour told my mom that I am running around with an older man with different cars, but it was a lie. I used to go to my friend’s home to study and even practice maths and my mom was aware of that, for the first time my mom believed me.

She realised that my neighbour only wanted us to fight. My neighbour then began to hate my mom. She would sometimes tell our neighbours that her and my mom don’t like each other and when they had a street meeting, she would tell everyone except my mom

In 2014, I passed matric and I finally lived far away from home and my neighbour. I went home only in the holidays and on the weekends.

In 2016, my mom started getting sick and died in the middle of the year. I came back home and started traveling from home to school because I knew that my aunt could not afford to pay for my accommodation and my fees at the same time.