I arrived in Cape Town, at the RDP houses. I put my clothes down and wanted to play but they said no, I couldn’t go outside anymore. They locked the burglar gates and I watched TV. I was getting bored. They told me I must sweep the front yard. I did that and finished and hoped I could now go play. But they then said I should work in the front garden and gave me a spade. I got tired. I had a rest and they told me to carry on. I was again staying with Noeloff and her children.

I would feel afraid when I saw my aunt and uncle. One day I remember feeling really, really dizzy when I came back from playing and put my foot on the gate. I felt strange. I thought of running away and hanging myself. I started regretting my life and asking why was I living?

Noeloff and her husband would often beat me up for reasons that weren’t always clear to me. One day they beat me with a belt on my head and I was bleeding. I didn’t cry. I was watching. He then went to the tap, fetched water and washed my head. Every time when he beat me I couldn’t feel anything. I went numb and would just let him beat me. I felt like I was already dead. There was nothing I could do. I was hopeless.

Every day I knew when he was drunk he would come back home and beat me. I would just sit on the couch and think I’d let him do whatever he wants. One day I asked myself a question: “Is this how the children live who don’t have parents?”

I didn’t know what to do. One day I told myself that this life I’m living is something I will never be able to enjoy. I used to compare myself with other children. I thought if I was like them, nothing like that would have happened to me. Things got too much and I ran away to Cape Town.

When I was living on the streets I used to smoke. My friends were all smoking. It seemed enjoyable to them and I thought I’d give it a try. It was Mandrax. At first I thought I was dying. I was hallucinating. When I was high I thought it was the end of the world. I heard trees talking and people started changing shape. Some people looked thin, others had big heads. I started laughing.

Then I saw a helicopter but it looked like a dragonfly. Then I thought a dragonfly doesn’t do any harm so I didn’t care. I couldn’t walk. Then I slept there for 5 minutes, woke up again and I managed to stand up and walk. I felt like trying it again because it was enjoyable hearing trees talk.

My friends and I went to look for more money. They wanted to buy glue. I didn’t know you could smoke glue and I said OK, I wanted to see how to smoke glue. They came with glue in plastic bottles and Benzine. They put it in front of me and said this is what they bought. I asked what kind of store sold drugs. They said it’s from a hardware store. They poured the glue into the plastic from the bottle.

I watched them puff it. I thought it was weird and they were wasting their time. One said he saw a snake and the others laughed. I wondered why these were people laughing. They said I should try it. I took only 2 puffs, I’m a sensitive person. The sounds around me started changing. One car passed and it sounded like “grrrrrr”. I laughed. I puffed some more. We were all laughing. I enjoyed smoking glue because it made me laugh. It also made me tired.


Tell us: What are the dangers of smoking glue?