If one looks inside a dictionary, the answer would be the place where one lives permanently, especially as member of a family or household.
However, for anyone who has had an actual home, they would know that such a term goes beyond its concrete description. It is an impassioned aspect, filled with values and foundations of nurturing.
A home is not just built to live in; in fact, that is just a definition of a house. Home is a place where one not only feels comfortable but where one lives every day.
A home is built not by bricks or wood but with the bond of a family and family is what makes a house a home but that is different for Mbali, a young girl that was forced to grow up at a very young age.
She had to mature earlier than expected which scared her deeply. As a child, born in a township in Johannesburg, Mbali had a hard time fitting in as she always saw herself differently from other children.
She had thoughts of herself as a boy; she never really understood her gender. Her family didn’t make it any easier for her as they forced her sexuality c upon her.
She then dug herself a bore hole as teardrops rolled by her cheek daily. She felt lonely as each day went by. She continued having a constant feeling of fear as her chin was trembling; she had a slumped posture whilst she was sweating even more.
On a winter’s night, Mbali travelled through a dark valley, a valley that had grass her height and there was no one to look out for her, only stars lit her path but made no difference. She heard sounds that terrified her as if the grass was pacing up and down.
As she went on with her journey, she came across a group of men that were from her neighborhood. She then started feeling a sense of security because those were men she knew and looked up to.
But without knowing , they whispered collectively. Mbali couldn’t hear what their discussion was about but they were planning on attacking her. Suddenly, Mbali felt scared as her heartbeat had begun to race unstoppably and her hands started to shake, there was no escape. They had surrounded her, making sure she couldn’t run away.
She was constantly biting her bottom lip, making darting glances at them. She saw no way out as she kept on pacing up and down, tugging her hair as she tried to think of a solution but there wasn’t one. She tried rasping her breath, squeezing her eyes shut and flinching at unexpected sounds but neither of that helped. They saw how vulnerable she was, they could see through her thoughtful actions of fighting back.
Then they came close to her; she felt caged and couldn’t save herself. They pounced on her and began punching her. She was weak and needed help. Thereafter, they ripped her clothes from her body, making sure they’d undress her very quickly. They then pushed her down, so she could lie down flat. One after the other, they took turns raping her.
Afterwards they ran away leaving her at the valley.
As the night went on, it became windy and cold, Mbali was excessively swallowing and winching and could barely believe what had happened to her.
She was pale as she tried standing up by grasping the grass alongside her. With no emotion to show, her voice cracked and her chin quivered as she tried to speak.