Pretty moved to a certain village in Phalaborwa, where her friend told her that business was good. She rented a room in a house and stayed there alone. The village people knew each other, it was easy to tell that she was a stranger. She was beautiful, had an African body but very quiet.
At first she didn’t go anywhere; she would just sit outside and read her bible. Every Sunday she would go to church, they all welcomed her. Her beauty and body lured men, they approach her, but she was not really interested in dating anyone. She didn’t want to complicate her life, she was there for business only. What the people didn’t understand about Pretty was why she would always leave in the afternoon and come back in the morning.
A month later, Pretty’s neighbour was going home from a night club in town, he saw Pretty in the spot of hookers. News about her profession spread rapidly around the village. She didn’t care what people thought or said about her, it was nobody’s business but hers.
Mothers were concerned about their daughters, they didn’t want them to be like Pretty. Everywhere she went there were mixed feelings. Although Pretty didn’t care what people thought of her she began to feel uncomfortable – but she had to be brave; money was her mission. As young as she was, she was not tractable. At church there were division, others judged her while the rest still accepted her.
Months passed and business was booming. Pretty had not been going to church as much as she did before. Pastor Mathebula heard some of the congregation members talking about this, he then decided to pay her visit. He called her and asked he could see her, she agreed. That evening when he went there, he found many people were angry at Pretty’s place.
He quickly ran to her rescue and asked what the problem was. The villagers told him that six men had paid Pretty money in order to sleep with her and in return she refused. She told them that she did her business in town. They discriminated against her for thinking that she was too special for them, their money wasn’t good enough for her. They then began confronted and pummelled her.
Pastor Mathebula managed to stop the tirade. He took Pretty to his house. The following morning Pastor asked her why she had been living that kind of lifestyle, selling her body for money. Pretty told him her story.
She was 21-years-old now, her mother got sick when she was doing Grade 12. She was the top learner in her class when her mother’s illness led her to that life. She became the bread winner and took care of her 8-year-old brother as well. She didn’t know who her father was.
She had lost her virginity to that job. Her mother passed away that very same year and she didn’t have money to bury her. Their relatives helped, but the government had to bury her. Her mother’s death and their financial circumstances affected her focus at school. However, she obtained her higher education certificate.
Three years after her mother’s death, she started doing prostitution as a means of taking care of her little brother and to save money for nursing school. It was a tragic story that not even Pastor had expecting. He realised that there was more to Pretty than just her profession -bravery, maturity and responsibility. He then organised a meeting so Pretty could tell her story.
She stood in front of the entire village and told them her story, leaving everyone with mixed feelings. They earnestly begged her forgiveness. All the villagers asked her forgiveness, realising that they were wrong. Pretty’s story taught all of them not to judge a book by its cover. When everything had passed, Pretty decided to go home.
Pastor Mathebula tried to convince her to stay and offered to take care of both her and her little brother. She refused, telling him that she had made enough to go to nursing school and to take care of her little herself. She went back to Bush Buckridge that very Sunday. When she left, the passage of the bible that Pastor Mathebula’s was preaching was: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”