I was not aware
She writes well
Except that she can read very well

So says a mother of her school-daughter
Proud of her she is

Though one wonders
Where she has been all the while
(a parent perhaps
or usually
a single one)

Perhaps or usually
Tired from slaving in a sweatshop
(making the ends meet)

Perhaps or usually
Less education than their offspring
(and dampened by it)

Against all odds
A Manenberg girl
(living with her granny)
disproves the usual

Has she learned
in spite of all
and not because of

What would you expect
from Manenberg and every
other Manenberg on the planet

How many more
Anushqah van der Ventel’s
are just up your street

Have you not seen the signs?

“Against all odds, a Manenberg pupil comes third in essay contest” (Cape Times, Feb 9 2015). The Manenberg High School matric pupil’s award-winning SADC essay is titled “The truth is upon us: signs are clear.”