My life wasn’t always perfect. When I was younger, I was always abused and manipulated by everyone around me. At seven years of age I was already the house maid; I cooked and cleaned. It was stressful. My parents still paid for my school fees but I was soon on my own after I had finished school.

At 18, I already had a plan to run away from my parents’ house to my friend’s house. She knew about my troubles and said that I could stay with her and her parents for as long as I wanted. I didn’t stay long though because I knew my parents were going to look for me.

I then went to the bank and got a loan of R72000, which I would have to pay R1500 for 48 months. I had gotten a scholarship which covered my accommodation at university, so I found an apartment nearby which was R1500 a month. I was doing a two-year nursing course so I paid R36000 rent in advance. I then used at least R10000 to buy furniture and my basic necessities like food, blankets, clothes etc.

I was left with R26000 left in my bank account. I knew it would only pay for the first 16 months so I had to get a job. I worked as a part time waitress at one of the restaurants by the college. I got paid R250 weekly, and was off during weekends. So every month I got R750 in my account. It wasn’t enough so I got another job for weekends as a babysitter in the surrounding neighbourhood. I worked for four hours on Saturdays and charged R100 per hour, which amounted to R650 per week.

So I would deposit R1500 every month and be left with R450 for my needs. It was tough for the last two years, but I made it. I graduated university and found a well-paying job at a private hospital. I earned R20000 monthly and was off during weekends so I had time for myself. I continued to stay at the apartment I lived in for three years. I still had to pay the bank 8-month installments but I still R17000 to spare. I made sure that I saved R10000 every month. I repaid my debt to the bank and I had R80000 in my bank account. I saved R15000 every month after that and for 3 years I had R620000 which I used to buy a three bedroomed house worth R444000. My life has been great after that but the one thing I regret is that I have never contacted my parents until now.


Tell us: What do you think about the writer’s journey from the time she was 18 years?