We arrived at the bus station in Tsomo. Uncle Matikiti didn’t waste time; he left me in the bakkie to go and organise the bus ticket and food for me to eat during the journey. He came back, gave me the stuff and gave me pocket money of R200. He bought me a nice new phone. I was so happy. I didn’t want to show him though, because I didn’t want him to think I was some charity case.

He walked me to the bus and he told me, “Anele, look after yourself in Cape Town. There are a lot of things there but you should make the right choices for yourself. And please make good friends. I know my brother can be a pain in the butt sometimes but be brave today. I expect you to be a man, so act like a man in Cape Town and never forget where you came from.”

And he gave the bus driver the address of my destination and he left. I took a sit on the second row from the back. I covered myself with a blanket so that it would look like I was a sleep. I was in deep thoughts of how Cape Town would be? And what will my dad’s family think of me? Would they like me?

Now the bus was full and I was getting hot under the blanket. I removed it just as the bus was taking off.

“Hey there, you are awake. I thought you were asleep. Thank God you’re also a teenager; I won’t be bored all these hours to Cape Town. I will have someone to chat with! I’m Aneliswa, 17 years old and I live in Cape Town. Here I was attending my grandmother funeral, so who are you? Where’re you from and where are you going at this time of the year?”

That was a girl sitting next to me and next to her there was a woman. I thought the woman was her mom. I didn’t feel like talking. I thought of telling her that I was not in the mood but the way she was looking at me didn’t look like she was going to buy that excuse.

So I told her I’m Anele, also 17 years old and I lived there in Tsomo but was now moving to Cape Town. After my mother died there was no one to look after me so my father, who I have never met before, contacted me to move and to live with him and his family in Cape Town. After I told her she looked down, sad and speechless.

Her mom, who also heard my introduction, was concerned about how to I felt. The fact that I was going to start a new life in a new town and I was going to meet a new family bothered her. I told her I felt scared and also happy because I didn’t know what they will think of me when they saw me. And I was kind of happy that I will meet my biological father for the first time. I was happy that I was to start a new school. It had to better than the ones we have in Tsomo.

The mother looked at me and said, “Anele my boy, Cape Town is no longer the place it used to be when we came to it back in the days. Now it has changed from good to disastrous and now it’s no longer a place that a young nice boy like you can grow up in. But as it looks like you don’t have a choice and you’re also interested in going to Cape Town. One thing I can say is when you’re there, open your eyes and make the right choices for yourself. Because there are a lot of things that young people choose. Some choose drugs; alcohol, gangsters and some are less than 18 years and are already parents. So please my boy, make excellent decisions for yourself.”

I thanked her for those words and promised to look after myself. Her words frightened me I must say, because she was the second person to warn me about Cape Town. I just hope those people of Cape Town won’t kill me, I said a silent prayer.

We went on talking about life issues. Anelisa’s mother was a loving mother; you could tell by looking at her. She reminded me of my mother and I just wished mom was there to show me the way. I felt sleepy after a while so I took a nap. Anelisa woke me up.

“Anele, wake up we in Ilitha Park now and we’re about to reach my home.”

It was early hours of the morning when we reached Anelisa’s home. They wrote their address and phone numbers on a piece of paper for me and told me I should visit them anytime. The bus dropped them and took off.

I looked at the window and I could see the beautiful houses but it was still dark. A flood crossed my mind again; will I fit in this town? I worried. When I would get this feeling my mood would drop and it would take all my attention. But I told myself I will face life as it comes.

The bus stopped and the driver called me and told me we had reached my destination. It was like someone just poured cold water on top of me and my heart started to beat faster. I got off the bus slowly and took my bags. The driver showed me the house. As I moved towards the house door the bus took off. I felt like calling the bus to stop and take me home. I was so scared I felt like crying. I took the last step towards the door. I knocked.

Someone replied with a small voice. I could tell it was a girl.

“Who is it?”

“I am Anele Thole from Eastern Cape. I am looking for my father Dumisani Ntonga,” after a pause she told me to wait.


Tell us what you think: How do you think Anele will be received by his siblings?