There was a boy called Sipho who lived with his unemployed mother. Sipho was doing Grade 10 and he didn’t know that he had a writing talent. He had a talent for drawing but his father was always discouraging him. They lived in a very small shack and many children were mocking Sipho because of his home situation.

Sometimes he went to school without eating and with an un-ironed uniform. This was the hardest time for Sipho and what made the situation worse was that Sipho wasn’t good at his studies. Because of the stress, he spent his time always alone without friends. One day he decided to write a story and he didn’t know where this idea came from. He wrote a book and named it “My Struggle”. He was crying while he was writing. He used to go to the river to write because there was no space in his home and his father was always drunk. Even when he had to do his school work he would have to study outside. That was the major reason for him not to do well but he was refusing to study after school at school.

After some days he heard that at his school they were hosting a short story competition called “You can do it”, but they wanted typed passages. That was a challenge for Sipho. He went to his class teacher to ask for help.

“Hello my teacher, I’m here to ask your help. I’ve just discovered that I have a writing talent, infact I can’t call it a talent for now. They are hosting a short story competition and I hope you have heard about it. I want to enter but the problem is I don’t have a laptop for typing. Can you please borrow me yours?”

Mr Bhengu replied, “My boy, I see you don’t know how much a laptop costs. It cost from R5000 upwards, so just forget it, no one can give you something that is so valuable. I don’t mean to discourage you but I’m stating the facts.”

Sipho left her office angry and down.

Later that day they it was raining. He was supposed to be inside the house but his father came home drunk and started beating him and his mother. His mother was injured and she was rushed to hospital. Sipho was crying and he was injured too but not that much. He went to hospital in the ambulance with his mother.

When he came back from hospital he saw smoke coming from his home. He thought they were burning something but when he came closer his saw that his home was already in ashes. The fire fighters came later. His book was inside that house and his father was there too. Sipho only had a paper and a pen in his pocket. He sat down and wrote.

Everything in ashes made me cry,
I cried and no one heard
Help was there but not at the right time
Seeing my father burning was not easy, that made me to cry,
Lord, what have I done?
Tomorrow I’m supposed to be at school
But I have no clothes and my book are in ashes
I cry oh Lord!
Help my mother she is in hospital.

He rushed back to hospital to tell his mother but he didn’t find her on the bed she was in. He heard bad news that his mother passed away. He bowed and said, “Lord I’m too young to face this. Please give me the strength to face this but I know it’s not yet over.”

His mother and father were buried by municipality and Sipho went to live in a foster home.


Tell us what you think: Do you believe people give up on their dreams because of their hard circumstances?