“The tears you cry are nothing compared to the joy that is coming your way”

Zodwa read the quote from her father’s book of wisdom as she cried alone in the dark. She fell asleep trying to figure out why has she been directed to that particular quote at that particular time?

The next day she woke up and went to school. She had to put a brave face, she did that all the time. No one ever noticed that she was actually hurting because she was the quietest soul in class. Mr Ndola raped her every week. It became a habit for both of them.

Zodwa didn’t cry anymore and she couldn’t feel the physical pain anymore. She just numbed herself to everything around her. Every night she read a quote from her father’s book. To her reading it at night was more useful than to read it in the morning and face the world with fake encouragement. She felt like the world no longer cared because nobody noticed anything.

It was better to dream and live life in a dreamlike state than it was to live in reality. Reality was too much for her and she couldn’t cope anymore. The only that kept her alive were the quotes and her dreams. She knew that once she finished school she can have a new life and she would put behind her all the bad things that happened in her life. She was ready to live in denial; all she had to do was finish school.

She went through Grade 10 and 11 by drowning herself in her school work. When she got to Grade 12, she knew that she was at the gate of her dreams. She pressed on, she did well like every other year. She applied for bursaries but she never told her adoptive parents about it.

Zodwa was not a believer, she didn’t follow any religion. She never went to church and she was never baptised. But she prayed every day. She believed in a higher power that ruled everything under the sky. And she knew that that entity had great plans for her, at least she hoped. All she had to do was to hang on to life and give up hope.


Tell us what you think: Would you be able to notice if one of your friends was going through an ordeal and was secretive about it? What signs should we look for when we suspect that our loved ones are being victimised?