I was born in a small, beautiful village full of nature and surrounded by mountains in Cofimvaba in the Eastern Cape. My grandma raised me while my mom was still finishing her studies.

I grew up in a village that did not have enough water but we had rain and many rivers. We had to walk a great distance to fetch water from the main tap which everyone gets water from. We had to wake up early in the morning or go later in order to avoid queuing at the main tap.

We sometimes go to the farm to help my uncle water plants, and to the plantation where new plants need to be planted due to the seasons’ changes. I enjoyed each and every one of these activities we had. I never complained because my granny used to say everything we do will help us in future. She would never abuse us and she loved us because she wanted us to be independent in life by knowing what other people had to do.

I can remember the days my granny prepared us some rich meals which were made with things taken straight from the garden. Meals like pumpkin mixed with maize meal (indyandya), cabbage and spinach mixed with maize meal (utyuthu) and maize mixed with beans (Sophi). We also had fresh meat, fresh milk and we sometimes made popcorn for ourselves with maize.

I still don’t get it why people judge people who stay in a village because we were healthy and richer than the ones who grew up in a city. We did not have access to technology and there was a lack of education, but otherwise it was so nice being in my hood in Cofimvaba. Everything was so fresh and natural, and we were raised well in that we respected even a stranger or someone younger than us.

I love my home unconditionally. I miss home.