Statistics show that each year thousands of refugees migrate from their African countries to live in South Africa for a better life. Alice stared at the wall in front of her after reading a newspaper article on African migration. I’ve been here for so long that I don’t even remember what home looks like, she silently thought to herself. Alice is a refugee from Rwanda. She left her country at the age of 13 with her mother Beatrice as well as her younger brother Enoch, who is now 16 years old and moved to Cape Town. Enoch was a baby when the war began in Rwanda, so he doesn’t really remember much about the struggle that Alice and her mother went through.

“Alice, please come here and help me cook super,” her mom shouted from the small kitchen of their two bedroom flat.

“Coming now mom,” Alice yelled back as she threw the newspaper on her bed and rushed to the kitchen to help.

“Mama today at school the English teacher asked us to write an essay on ‘Where I am from’. So please mama I know you don’t like thinking about the past but can you help me?” Alice asked her mother while trying to help prepare the food.

“Alice, you know that time was really hard for us and our people. Many people died during that time and even me, when I think about the many people I lost, I just want to cry.” Her mother said with a very sad face. “But you and your brother didn’t really feel it because you were too young, us older people suffered so much . . . I don’t really know how I can explain it,” her mother said.

Alice could see that her mother was really looking like she would burst out into tears because of what she had gone through. But at the same time Alice really wanted to get a good grade so that she can move on to the next Grade as the paper counted 30% of her year mark.


Tell us what you think: How do you feel about refugees in South Africa?