I grew up in Schulzendal where I lived with my mom, granny and siblings. I went to primary at Schulzendal but I had to move to Driekoppies to be closer to school. Since I moved I have to live without my mom, the hardest thing any teenager could face. Once I settled in slowly I started enjoying living in Driekoppies. I love my community a lot now that I’ve gotten to know some people.

One of the things I love about my community is that it is small so the population is not that big. We as humans need a healthy, tidy, and safe environment and my community is more than that because it provides safety and security. I love my community because there are many areas where people can chill, relax and have a great time with their loved ones.

Firstly, it has a stadium where we watch athletes play soccer. The stadium isn’t just for games, it’s also for uniting people of different races, ages and backgrounds.

Driekoppies also has a surgery founded by Dr. Ngomane. I love this because ever since we got a surgery people don’t have to travel to other places for medical attention unless it is very critical.

We also have Nhlaba Park where people gather to celebrate weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. Nhlaba Park is also a place for relaxing and just taking a break from our everyday lives. What I love about this park is that they accept everyone.

I love the schools because they are clean and there are very good educators. At my school, Joseph Matsebula, there are very qualified teachers including Mam Mathaba, Mam Motsile, Mr. Gazide and Mr. Khumalo. I’m very lucky to have educators like them. I just admire them.

Though I love certain things about my community, there are times when I feel uncomfortable and in danger. Last month my friend, Nomfundo went through a terrible trauma and she was in pretty rough shape. I found her at school crying and I asked her what was wrong. She said some guy whose name she didn’t even know raped her. She was crying so hard I also felt like crying. She was scared of speaking up at her home so she went to Mam Mathaba and told her everything. The guy was found and he was arrested. I feel in danger now because of this and I just wish he could be jailed for life.

Another thing that makes me feel unsafe in my own hood is that our house is close
to a shop and the shop is close to a tavern. I always feel uncomfortable when I go to buy bread in the morning and afternoon because the men look at me with creepy eyes. I always hurry home.

Last week my brother’s friend Magic was stabbed to death. It was a Friday and usually my brother Mxolisi goes with his friend to the tavern. My brother told my granny that he was fighting for his girlfriend and Magic was trying to stop the fight but he was caught in the crossfire. What hurt my brother most is that he is now blamed for Magic’s death. This also makes me feel uncomfortable because when boys are drunk, they fight and what if I’m going to the shop, and they’re fighting. Anyone can get hurt.