Thando Seabi, a 18-years-old girl, who lived in a developing home at Ga Nare in Limpopo with her 32-years-old mother, stepdad and two siblings. Her mother was married to a 43-years-old man who was a gardener at Mpumalanga.

When she was 13 years old, her mother gave birth to twins. It was a greater moment for her. One of her wishes was accomplished. Her mother, mothering 3 children with social grant and little received money from her husband monthly was not enough and made her motherhood sourly. Establishment of self-employed solved her problems, she became a hawker.

In the year 2018, Thando was in matric. She started demanding much costly study materials that pushed her parents to work harder so that they could cover the expenses. Her father started to be aggressive, impatient and unpleasant towards Thando his wife wasn’t around. She kept silent about the abuse and her right to speech was defeated. Her father’s presence on weekends was no longer enjoyable to Thando because it made her feel unloved, unwanted and sidelined. However, she didn’t allow challenges to distract her school work. She passed her matric with a Bachelor’s pass.

Thando left home and relocated to Gauteng with her cousin from her father’s family, who was a lecturer at a college where Thando enrolled for an Electrical Engineering course. She thought living far away from home would help heal her damaged emotions, but she was trapped in abusive environment.

The bursary she got only covered her study fees and she had to rely on her cousin salary for foods, clothes and cosmetics. The dependence gave her cousin power and freedom to mistreat Thando for over a year. She forced Thando to do all heavy and light household chores, using negative language when communicating and sometimes laying a land on her. She failed again to raise her voice and continued battling with emotional, physical, verbal and mental abuse. These mentioned various abuses interrupted her academic efforts. She became adaptably, friendly to depression and anxiety.

In March 2020, the government implemented a hard lockdown due to Covid-19.That allowed Thando to escape the abuse and flee to Limpopo. Her father had been retrenched. Her mother was no longer making a living as hawking was prohibited. Things went smoothly for seven weeks. After seven weeks her mother got a permit became successful and she returned back to hustling. Her father had resumed with his abusive nature.

Thando and her mother were in the sitting room while her siblings played outside and her father was busy in the yard. Her mother said, “We need to talk about something important. Please be understand nunu. The man I’m married to, the same man you call him your pa, is not your biological father. Your biological father left us when I was two months pregnant. He denied the pregnancy and neglected us. His absence is not an issue. We have a man who love us all and he’s playing a perfect husband to me and father role to you.”

Thando left the sitting room trembling and entered her bedroom. She knelt and form a prayer. After ten minutes she returned back to the sitting room and lay a hand on her mother shoulder, she said that, “I’m will be fine mommy.”

Eight days after the confession, Thando couldn’t handle the pressure of the abuses and scandals about her biological dad anymore. She’s started using drugs and alcohol daily to relieve the pressure. Silence and secrets has killed her wishes, goals and future.


Tell us: What are your thoughts about the way Thando’s life turned out?