Who needs a key to success when my door is a sliding ceiling board? I am from a township full of shacks and doors are very rare. One Tuesday morning reminded me of how procrastinating was going to backfire on me. Having doubts of not receiving an SMS, I stood in a long que for my matric results.

It took me more than three hours to finally buy the newspaper. I knew I was going to pass but at the same time I knew I did not study enough for certain subjects. I had mixed emotions and could not handle the noise of other people’s excitement so I stepped away, to a quiet place and opened the newspaper. After searching for my name for more than three times, I realised that I failed.

I asked myself a lot and also concluded that I was supposed to be a failure. After all, I was going to be the first one at home with a matric certificate. My neighbourhood is famously known for the high pregnancy rate, young children quitting school and most of them becoming drug addicts. Perhaps that’s how it should be, who was I to be different? Most of us attend school for more than twelve years for a paper to confirm that we are worth it or not, but we do not consider our talents.

For a bright girl, I found this a suffocating experience. I headed home with confidence as if I had made it, only to find myself in the kitchen, tears gushing down my face and I lay flat on the floor.

I went for supplementary exams three times, in March, June and November. In those three times not once did I pass. I had to go and look for a job. Looking for a job without matric is even harder than I thought it would be, so I took a gap year.

Depression kicked in and it got me thinking about my future. It made me aware that any decision I take now will result on my children’s survival. Listening to people was the last thing on my mind, “Bo meno masweu ke bo seila kgaka, senwa moro. (People can deceive you with a smile).” I chose not to listen to people who are not doing anything to change their situation.


Tell us: What are you doing to change your situation?