I born in a small village called Kildare. My dad passed away when I was 8 months old. I never got a chance to know him; I was still a baby.

I was raised by my aunt and grandmother because my mother is mentally disturbed. Things where okay at home, my aunt made sure I had everything I needed and wanted, from food, to clothes to even toys. But things started changing when I realised I needed a father in my life.

Whenever my friends spoke about their fathers, I would be hurting inside. It hurt because they had the love of a father, while I didn’t. I had my grandmother and aunt by my side, but that didn’t matter at all.

Everything went from bad to worse when I lost both my grandmother and my aunt the same year, it was like a nightmare. I was left with my uncle and my mother, my uncle didn’t care about me, all he cared about was his family in Jo’burg. His life was in Jo’burg, so we moved to my mother’s village. Life was never the same again. My mother’s siblings treated us like fools. We eventually bought our own stand with my mother’s social grant.

We had to buy food, electricity, pay DSTV, funeral cover and have a little for pocket money, all with that social grant. As for clothing, we needed to budget for that so that we could have enough clothes. As time went by, my mother’s siblings wanted to control our money, as if we didn’t know how to manage it or what to buy. They hated me as if I wasn’t not part of the family.

I once called my uncle asking to come back home but he didn’t agree. Even though I asked my uncle for something small all he said was, “I’m still paying your sister’s school fees” or “my wife has taken my bank card.” That made me think that maybe I’m a problem to him, I have to stop asking for things because at the end I will be disappointed. All I had to do was to stay with my mom until I find my own job, so that I can do what I want.


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