Themba woke up feeling tired and uncomfortable. He started trekking in the wilderness again as the birds sang on top of the tall trees that surrounded him. He crossed the forest until he eventually reached the tar road and walked tirelessly to an unknown destination.

For days he walked in silence, in the searing heat of the sun. He would rest under trees and ate grass just to stay alive. On one particular day, he saw a cloud of dust in the distance. He walked towards it, perhaps there would be signs of human life, he thought. He realised that the figures were houses and the cloud of dust he saw was smoke billowing from these houses into the air. Still in disbelief from what he saw, Themba quickened his pace to reach the place.

This place was different from the village. He felt a little dizzy as cars hooted noisily in the street. People moved about without giving him a glance, as if he did not exist. For a moment he thought he was losing his mind from the terrible noise around him. There were many shops in this town, unlike in his village where the only shop was owned by the chief.

He walked passed shops that sold clothes displayed on the glass windows. And eventually he passed a bakery. The inviting smell of fresh baked bread made him feel more ravenous and instantly nostalgic. He wished he had money to buy food. His worn-out shoes were already on the brink of tearing, soon he would walk barefoot.

Alone in the city, without family or friends, a hungry Themba never felt so alone in the world. He sat under a tree and sobbed.

A boy, James, found him and offered him food. He even took him under his bridge where he shared his tattered blanket with Themba. This was the first act of kindness Themba saw in the city and he vowed to repay the boy.


Tell us: Do you think the boys would overcome their suffering?