At first I thought I was dreaming. A dark hole was getting nearer and nearer to me. I felt scared, facing this world alone. I screamed for help but no one could hear anything. I felt left alone as they continued with their business without bothering about my whereabouts.

I realise in life nobody wants you in tough times but in good times everyone surrounds you. Some pretend as if they love and care for you. I am a young woman, a sister, an aunt and a mother of two boys. It’s never an easy journey to raise two kids alone, and being independent. It was only through the mercy and grace of God upon me that encouraged me to be a better mom. I always wanted the best for them.

My family disowned me while I was pregnant with the first child in my teens.

“If you don’t get rid of that child you’re not allowed to come near this house!” my parents had said. It was hard. I didn’t have a choice but to accept that I was disowned. I felt helpless that would put the baby at risk. I had to be strong and think of solutions but abortion was never an option.

I had to have hope that one day my baby would come to this world and hopefully turn the situation around. I was in Grade 11. I couldn’t focus anymore and was scared of what people and teachers would say about me. I had to ditch school.

Then I lived with my mom. She hadn’t thrown the towel. She gave me the love and support that I had longed to have and helped prepare for the baby’s arrival. My baby came strong and healthy. I named him ‘Itumeleng’, meaning ‘rejoice’, after the bible scripture, “Rejoice unto the Lord, rejoice”. I gave all my worries and challenges to God and rejoiced.

I went back to school to finish my matric and enrolled with Unisa to study teaching, which I’m still studying. I registered a catering company under my kids’ names and it is running well and smoothly. I’m able to support my mom too. I’m forever grateful that she did not give up on me. Instead, she taught me self-love and perseverance. She told me to always strive for what I want in life, work hard and stay strong and close to God. I wish God can bless her with many more years to come so that she can see all my successes.

I want to encourage many youth and single moms out there that, “You should not let anyone determine your destiny but instead be the master of your own destiny.” I am in control of my life and my ability is to rise above my pain and what I went through.


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