Everywhere I go, I hear about someone who got shot. I never get a chance to walk wherever I want. There are times I just want to walk to the shop, or walk to my friend’s house to hang out. I wish we could just sit in the yard.

When I walk out of my house I feel unsafe because I can see the gangsters stand on the corner of our street and plan their next fight or shooting. My life is in danger at home, where I walk and wherever I stand. When I look out the window they start shooting, they actually shoot towards our window, then everyone has to go down and lay on the floor.

I live in Mannenberg with my grandma and my mother. I spend most of my time in our house. After school I come home and do my homework and when it’s later in the evening I sit and watch TV. Even when I am inside my house I feel uncomfortable because I feel like something will happen outside. There are times when I’ll just get into my house and I’ll hear gunshots outside. Our house is directly opposite the road where they shoot.

One day I was sitting by my desk, doing my homework. It was late afternoon when I heard the first shot. It was so loud that I jumped up and ran straight to the kitchen. I was alone at home and the only thing I could think of doing was to make sugar water for myself. I was in shock because I was not used to hearing gunshots so close by.

We only lived in Mannenberg for 3 years. I sat in my room for two hours before my mom came home. When I told her about the shooting and how scared I was, she sat with me and prayed. My house appeared in the newspaper on the 17thof April 2018. I always pray to God to stop the shooting. In the morning after I wake up, they shoot, when I come from school, they shoot and before I fall asleep, they shoot.

I never stand anywhere outside or inside; I always sit or walk up and down. Sometimes when I pray, people think I’m stupid. Sometimes I talk to myself. Every morning before I walk to school, I have to wait until they are done shooting. Only when it is near the month of Ramadaan, do they stop shooting. However, when it nears Christmas, they carry on shooting in our community.

God is always first for a born-again Christian. I always shout “amen!” in the road, on the way home. It’s great to shout amen and hear that the gangsters aren’t shooting. This may sound stupid, but I love God especially when he makes miracles. One day I hope my community will be peaceful and that everyone that lives here will love each other. I hope that we won’t have gangsters walking around with guns so that I can enjoy my community. But for now I’ll just stay inside.