The person who changed my life is my grandmother. She changed my life when I went to live with her in Limpopo because my parents had a divorce. I went to live with her because my mother wanted some time to fix her life, and at that time, I was having problems at school. On top of that, I was young and spoiled. My mother took us to Limpopo: me, my sister and my brother. She couldn’t take care of us. She had to make her life better because my father took all the furniture that both him and my mother had worked for. So my grandmother offered to take care of us while my mother put her life together.

When I went to Limpopo my whole life changed with the click of a finger. Before that, I didn’t know how to read and I failed Grade 3. The teachers didn’t think that I would be ready for Grade 4, so my grandmother forced me to read. I always cried and wanted to come back home to Gauteng with my mother, my grandmother would always comfort me, telling me that I was stronger than this. That’s when I started to be inspired by her words.

In Limpopo there were times when we didn’t eat and we were struggling with money. My grandmother told me that she was going to get a job so that she could provide for us. She would wake up at 6 a.m. and come back at 6 p.m. from work. Sometimes her feet would get bruised because of the job. She would tell me that life is not fair; that some people have degrees but don’t have jobs, some people don’t have food to eat and go to sleep hungry or others don’t have shelter over their heads. She would say that I had to be careful in this world and pray that God would provide me and those around me with blessings.

My grandmother also began to teach me how to spend money because we were poor and my mother would send money only once every couple of months. Sometimes we would be broke and only eat pap with tea. It was hard for my grandmother and even though she didn’t have enough money to care for us, she really tried. I started to really admire her for what she was doing.

She taught me that money can control you if you have a lot of it and you didn’t know what to do with it. She taught me many things that are important in life and what you have to do if you want to achieve your ambitions. She said that I would have the life I’d always wanted. And even if I failed a thousand times in the things I wanted to do, I should not give up and always face what the world throws at me.

I’m really grateful that she changed my life. If it wasn’t for her, I wonder where I would be. From her I learned that life is not fair, so you have to fight for a better life. Most of all, I’m very grateful for her teaching me how to read. Since then, I’ve been passing my grades and achieving at school. Lastly, I’ve learned how to be responsible, and because of her I respect both people who are older than me and my peers.