I live in the Manenberg area with my parents. I’ve lived here for 14 years and growing up was good until the gang violence in my area grew.

One day there was gang violence that happened in my area. There were shooting taking place all over. The people didn’t know where to run because of the shooting. There was an outbreak in my hood. My father was lying comfortably on the bed when all of a sudden gun shots were heard. We all rushed to lay on the floor, but my father was the only one who was laying on the bed. The bed was close to the window.

Then shots were fired and we heard some bullet shots against the wall right next to the window. My father jumped up and in a panic called the police, but sadly they only arrived the following day. They had lots of questions for my parents. I was too afraid and still in a state of shock! All the police did was remove the bullets from the wall!

The same night of the shooting my father had to pull in his car, but he was very scared to go out because they were shooting right in front of our gate. I couldn’t sleep at all. I was just thinking of the shooting. That was all that came to my mind. Just before I went to sleep I said a prayer.

I don’t feel safe in my house anymore because they are shooting all over. I also don’t feel safe at school. I only feel safe at Madrassa because God is always with me and he always protects me. When I hear they are shooting I get so scared because I think of my mother that has to leave the house early for work and I think about my mother that still has to come home while they are shooting.

The gangsters don’t care who they hurt. I just hope Manenberg becomes a better place and the gangsters stay in jail forever. If the gangsters can make peace they will do everyone a favour. Every night I pray to God that the gangsters can make peace and that everyone can live a happy life, without fighting. The children can’t even play outside or walk around because of the shooting.

Sometimes I feel that I don’t belong in my community anymore. There are even gangsters at our school. They throw each other or they stab each other. We can’t even go to the shop. There are gangsters everywhere, they shoot any time and I always feel unsafe. I feel very sad about innocent people that get hurt. They put their lives in danger to go and fetch their kids, but their kids are so disrespectful towards them.

In the future I hope that the gangsters will be able to make peace and everyone is friendly with each other. I hope that they catch the gangsters and lock them up for good, so that my school and my community will be a safer place.