There was once a girl called Thandeka. She had a beautiful mother who loved her. Her mother was rich and successful because she was a hard worker. Her wish was to marry a good man, a good man that will be able to look after Thandeka. Thandeka was nine years old. She was very clever at school and had big dreams of becoming a pilot. Her teachers complimented her work and believed that her dreams would come true because she was a hard worker just like her mother.

One day Thandeka’s mother was on her way to work when she saw this man called Hlomla waiting for a taxi. She knew that he was not rich but had heard that he was a good man that was respected by the community. Thandeka’s mother stopped the car to offer Hlomla a lift and complimented him by saying how handsome he was. Hlomla was so surprised that he was complimented by a successful and beautiful lady. In his heart he never thought he would hear such compliments and be offered a lift by a beautiful woman with a shining car. He got into the car with a big smile and he was excited and happy.

Thandeka’s mother asked where he was going. Hlomla answered that he was going to the mall to buy some bread and jam. Thandeka’s mother gave Hlomla more money so that he could buy groceries and he was so grateful. Thandeka’s mother phoned her work saying that she will be late; they got out of the car and went to buy groceries for Hlomla. Then they went into a coffee shop to eat muffins and drink coffee. Thandeka’s mother told the Hlomla that she would see him soon and they exchanged cell numbers. Thandeka’s mother arrived at work with a big smile.

Her colleague, Thuli, asked her why she was smiling and why she arrived late. She said that there was nothing going on but she thinks she found Mr Right. Although the man was poor, she believed that she could make him a better person. Thuli was a good friend so she advised Thandeka’s mother to be careful. Thandeka’s mother started to make Hlomla a better person; she started buying him clothes, groceries and everything that made Hlomla happy and they loved each other. When Thandeka was twelve years old, Hlomla and her mother got married and her mother was very happy because she was waiting for this moment to happen. Hlomla was happy too. Thandeka couldn’t wait to have a stepfather. After a month of living together married, they were very happy. But Hlomla didn’t like Thandeka.

When Thandeka’s mother spoiled Thandeka he looked at Thandeka in a bad way and got jealous. Every time Thandeka did something wrong by mistake he always shouted at her. Thandeka told her mother that Hlomla didn’t like her and that he was treating her in a very bad way but her mother didn’t notice. Thandeka’s mother shouted at her and said that she is wrong about Hlomla because he was a good man. When Thandeka was fifteen years old her mother got sick with cancer and Hlomla wasn’t supportive and that’s when he started treating Thandeka badly, shouting at her, insulting and beating her up.

Thandeka’s mother was shocked and she was stressed about what Hlomla was doing to her daughter but then she died. After three weeks Hlomla continued treating Thandeka badly. Every day after school when she arrived at home her stepfather would beat her with a belt saying that she must cook for him. Hlomla didn’t even want Thandeka to do her homework, she even failed Grade 9 because of the situation she was living in. Her teacher was very disappointed that she failed the class. But he did notice that there was something happening with Thandeka and it was affecting her school work because sometimes she didn’t even do her homework.

One day the teacher was telling the class a similar story about an abusive stepmother and Thandeka cried out loud. During break time her teacher called her and talked to her in private, begging her to be honest. She asked her what her problem was because ever since her mother died things were not the same. Thandeka cried and told her teacher the truth; that her stepfather was abusing her physically and emotionally. Her teacher was shocked and said that they must go to the police and tell them what was happening. Hlomla was arrested for treating Thandeka badly. He was convicted and went to jail for a very long time. Thandeka stayed with her teacher and they were happy.

She then passed Grade 9 with flying colours. She continued to do well at school and passed Grade 12 with distinctions. She went to university with the money that her mother invested for her education. After university she trained to be a pilot and met the man of her dreams. They got married and had three kids. The money that her mother left her she opened up a business and employed many people. Thandeka lived happily ever after.