They say it’s tough at first, but the more you persist, the easier it becomes.

I remember the night I was told to pack up my things because we were leaving for South Africa. I was excited at first, but for a second I seemed to hesitate and delayed my packing – I was scared.

I was told not to inform anyone of our departure because my parents feared being trapped by envy-driven neighbours. For a moment I felt I was neglecting my childhood, my ancient bicycle that was handed to me by my dad before he left for South Africa.

Throughout the journey I was afraid yet excited because I was finally leaving behind my ratchet life and heading towards the dream land. A place where cars were the most common modes of transport, roads were tarred and well levelled by those hard compressor machines that suck petrol like an anaconda constricting its prey.

To my late arrival, it still seemed like it was early hours of a summer morning. The suns elongated rays reflected on a smooth sea top. My mom exclaimed, “Rebabawe”, as she was overwhelmed by what her eyes could see. My sisters shouted out in loud voices, “Reba abazungu,” as they were shocked to see people that weren’t black.

Suddenly our joy was cut short when we discovered that we would have to speak English as it was the common medium of communication. That very moment I decided that I had to learn English as soon as possible if I were to attend school so that I would be able to communicate with other students.

At some point I had thought that if I had learned English, I would have accomplished all there was to accomplish. However, all of that changed the moment I entered the school. My mind was opened to other perspectives and I soon realised that there was so much more that I could achieve.

Currently I have finished my matric and I am looking forward to my first day at university. I am destined to become the best I can ever be. I just have to never stop believing.