Have you ever told yourself, “Totally, I’m going to be a cool parent”? Well, how cool would you go? We all know the feeling of hating our parents when they don’t want us to do something. It’s normal, it happens. Although, I guess no-one wants their kids to feel that way.

Maybe that’s what Tebogo thought. She thought she was only making life easier for her only baby girl. She did this with her other kids though, but they weren’t all behaving the same. The princess, the only one, the queen of her heart was not what she expected her to be.

Palesa, that means “flowers” in the Sotho language. It is clear that Tebogo loved her daughter from birth. She only wanted her child to bloom into a beautiful flower – but did she? She didn’t know that spoiling her was turning her into something that no-one would like.

Drug user, alcohol lover and only daughter to one. It was in the middle of the year 2017 when it all happened. Joyful times turned into sorrowful moments. A few nights in jail, street talk and a funeral. Judgement, sorrow, hurt and torture is what she went through. Poor Palesa – Tebogo’s only flower! The unfortunate events that took all Vosloorus newspapers by storm. Stories were made, lies were printed and we were left traumatized.

A few drinks with her mom and chilling buddies led to more and more. Yes, with her mom! It was a norma. Tebogo would gather with all her children and drink with them – it was a family thing. Maybe she thought this was the only way she could protect her off springs. It was after a few hours, when Tebogo finally decided to go and rest. She took Palesa with, but guess what: Palesa wanted more, she wanted more than just alcohol. She wanted to exceed to “Cloud 9”. “Ntash”, that’s what she smoked. It’s said to be “human remains” – she was very high.

Tebogo couldn’t, she couldn’t let her child go out in that state. They wrestled. They wrestled until Palesa decided to get a knife and… stab her mom. She had been threatening everyone already. It was first her father – now her mother. As long as she felt high, everyone had to dance to her tune. She did it! She stabbed her mom. I guess she went sober at the same time, because she did not wait, she ran away. Lord knows where to? Tebogo? Oh, she was left laying the front of her house, near the gate, bleeding. The family noticed this and community members too.

You know how things are in townships – news spread fast. I couldn’t believe my eyes, this was new to me. Calls were made, tears dropped and eyes witnessed. Paramedics? Now don’t they take their precious time! No one could help her. There was too much blood. We all couldn’t see where she got stabbed. We were all too scared to cause more damage. Little did we know that her soul needed saving.

Too late! The paramedics were too late. By the time the paramedics got there, she was gone, although her sons hadn’t lost hope. But the only hope they needed was hope to forgive their little sister for not knowing what she was doing. If she could do this to her mom, I fear for the rest of us.

I didn’t come to earth to judge, but this is reality. Although this is my hood, “Kasi lam. Khaya lam.”