Thabo can’t keep running like this – especially at night – he might be mugged. No, he will not get mugged by anyone because there is nothing left to steal from him. He jogs, he paces, he slows down and his hope for a brighter future perishes. He sits down at the nearest spot he can find and begins to weep.

How lonely the world is. How meaningless life is. How cruel the world is at a boy who hasn’t lived even twice the decades of his lifetime.

His knees are bent towards his chest, his arms resting on his knees. His head rests on his arms as he does his best to stop himself from crying. But his tears are the only flood left at the quiet silence of the night.


Thato is rudely disturbed from his Instagram scroll by a sound he hears from out the window. He moves closer and sees him.

“Nxaa, eish!” Thato clicks his tongue at the boy crouched on the ground.

His mood is triggered. It swings from delight to sadness as he thinks back to the day when a group of criminal-murderers hijacked, beat and murdered his mother. They took her Porsche…they took her life. These little criminals never stop. Even after a storm you see them rummaging around, waiting for you to sleep so they can come in and steal everything in your apartment. That’s all they know, to steal and murder.

They don’t understand the struggles we had to go through to be this successful, Thato thinks to himself.

He wants to call the police to protect everyone in the neighbourhood from this drug addict thief. But he doesn’t call the police because he knows they never lock up such thugs for good. They just keep them in jail for a day or two and then release them back to the streets.

He starts moving outside. He moves slowly towards his two sleeping dogs and frees them from their chains.

“Voetsek, Nja ndin!” Thato shouts at the boy while the dogs run towards him.

The dogs stop at the fence but they keep barking. The boy is frightened, he darts from the fence and starts running again. He stops running when he gets far enough from the barking dogs and looks back.

Thato feels proud of himself, he has saved the place from a ruthless teenager. His mom is smiling from heaven, proud of him.


Tell us: What do you think government needs to do to curb drug use?