Can things get worse?

They always do. 2012 – That’s a year I will never forget. So many things happened, especially for Lubabalo. He got into a lot of trouble because of his drinking. When he drank he felt superior and was always picking fights. He even had scars to show for it; all over his body. You would look at him and feel pity for him because of them.

There is a saying in isiXhosa, ‘Kulo kroti kuyalilwa, kanti kulo gwala kuyahlekwa’, meaning, ‘at the worrier’s home there is wailing, but at the coward’s home there is laughter’. Why couldn’t he be a coward, so we would not be crying all the time?

He always said, “Kuz’olunga ngenye imini.” I guess that’s what we all wanted to believe. 2012 really tested us all; our faith, our beliefs, our loyalties.

When he finally got a job we all were so thrilled. But he just became the most selfish person on earth, doing everything for himself only and no one else. He worshiped weed over everything and that made me mad. When he was in need, I helped him. I always gave him a hand and he just spat on my face and showed me that I didn’t mean a thing to him.

That was how I felt and it hurt. I told myself if he doesn’t give a damn about me, why should I care about him? So I refrained from even opening my mouth to him. I would just turn away when he would talk. I would only greet and not even comment when he spoke. It annoyed me that he took what he had for granted, his life, the family that loved and cared for him. He was the luckiest person on earth and he didn’t even know it.

He could have lost his life on many occasions; getting beaten up by a mob seeking justice, being carried at the back of a car tied up, getting stabbed on his face and almost losing an eye. The list was endless. Many families would’ve rejected that person because of the heartache they brought.

Everywhere we went fingers were pointed at us because of him. We would be woken up at night by people looking for him for some crime that was committed. He would never be anywhere around and we were left to face it all. Such terrible things I had to witness because of him.

In November 2012, Bhuti got into a mouth fight that got him stabbed in the left side of his back. That could have hit his heart and he couldn’t have died. But that still didn’t stop him.