Growing up in the streets of Samora was good; we were united like a family in our area. It was a peaceful area full of sweet, wonderful souls, until things got bad at home. My uncle got exposed to a shady lifestyle. He found comfort in alcohol and drugs. I was so disappointed in him, but at the same time, what could I expect? I mean, growing up in a township where crime dominates has its disadvantages. The community turned against us. They were telling us to either leave or chase Uncle P away. His addiction was bad and he had become a thief.

One evening we heard a noise outside of our shack and it sounded like a mob. The noise was getting louder and louder. We were so terrified. We tried waking Uncle P, but he had passed out. Mom started packing our bags. As we were helping her out, we smelt something which gave off the scent of something burning. We took our, already packed bags, and got out of the house. In that instant, Uncle P had slipped out of our minds and our house was on fire.

As the house was burning to ashes, my mom cried while shouting, “umntwana ka mama”- those were the only words she managed to utter. I, on the other hand, just felt numb. Uncle P was gone, as well as our home. It  dawned on me that all along we were living with cruel animals. For me Samora Machel is a place that claimed my uncle’s life and I’m reminded of that every day.