It was a tough morning, a useful reminder that laziness inspired nothing but failure in the world we lived in. He was being tested and he failed miserably.

“That was a difficult exam dad. I did all I could to pass it,” he said.

Speaking to his parents explaining himself, trying to pretend he wasn’t a disappointing child. Unfortunately there was nothing Thabang could do to minimise any further doubt that highlighted how much of a spoiled brat he was. His parents did everything for him. He got everything he ever wanted as a child. The only thing he had to do for his parents was to perform better at school. To behave in a good way and listen to his teachers, do his homework and study hard. That was his only job.

“You are a disgrace Thabang my boy, a complete disappointment,” his father said.

He was shaking. The tone in his father’s voice was new to him and this terrified him. He had never seen him like that before.

“You are grounded, do you hear me,” his father continued shouting at him.

Screaming at him. This was an embarrassment for him. He was a legal judge by profession and a bishop by religion. An example in his community. What were people going to say about his son failing his matric. This was beneath his own standards and a stain on his stellar reputation. It was totally unacceptable, a complete disgrace for him. Unlike his father, Thabang’s mother was in pain, feeling empathy and compassion for her son.

“Themba my husband let it go, he is still our child,” said Mrs Kekana, Thabang’s mother.

Thabang’s face was pale and his eyes were drowning in tears. He could barely look at his father. He kept ducking him, trying to look away when he spoke to him.

“Get out of my sight,” his father said.

Thabang went upstairs and locked himself in his room. The house became silent, like somebody had died.

Themba went into the living room and poured himself a glass of water. He was breathing heavily in anger. He punched the table with a fist. This gave his wife a fright who immediately went outside in tears.

This was a temporary family ordeal and by some miracle it would pass and Thabang’s father would forgive his son. It was just an exam, a small setback in the life of a teenager and his father looked like he was about to kill him for it.

It was only one day of his life but it felt as if his entire life was over. On top of that his father had his foot on his neck and this was sucking the oxygen out of him. What could he do to make it go away he thought. He then decided to end it once and for all.

Thabang had an evil plan in mind; a plan so evil that even his own father would be destroyed by it. He took one of his school’s uniform ties and tied to the ceiling of his room. Took a chair and placed it in position. He then wrote a note with the words Do not disturb and stuck it on the outside of the door. This was how disturbed he was. He then hanged himself.


Tell us: What advice would you give to someone who has failed matric?