We wake up each and every day with hopes, dreams and expectations. We wake up gloriously with ambition, only to walk out to an unruly township.

UMama kaLelethu, walking her three other children with torn school shoes and eager hearts. Luthando and his friends pass your house and you catch a glimpse of their hunger, anger and hatred. A black sister screams as a local gangster rushes through the crowd with his five star pocket knife, and he is all we are scared of in the township.

We cannot be afraid of hunger, we are used to it. We are not of afraid of water scarcity because we are used to it. We are not afraid of unemployment because we are used to it. We are just afraid of Ta Muzi and his pocket knife.

There is no “God’s mercy” here. Not for a male and certainly not for a female. We live by hopes and dreams that never wind up to be a reality. Yes, maybe the preacher’s son and daughter are in university completing their studies, while our parents live their lives through us, their peasant children that have no guarantees of straight A’s and NSFAS funding. So we are told we are not in sync with the rest of the world. That we are useless and we were made for the bleak and evil corners we stand against to stop a car and get bread. If it’s possible, hope that he will leave his wife and take you out of the cringing cold corrugated iron house you have made your home with ten siblings and your drunk mother.

Welcome to the township where we praise God and buy gifts for uBab’Mfundisi and his family for “bestowing thy blessings unto us”. Welcome to the township, where we are programmed to set mediocre goals; where poverty is tangible and raw. Welcome to the township where it all begins. Where Ta Muzi slaughtered a man and Mama KaLelethu learnt to subdue to the cruel pain of being molested; where I was born. Welcome to the township where pain conquers all.


Tell us: What’s that one word that describes the place you’re from?