Thabo was a good boy who always listened and respected his elders. All he knew was to look after his father’s cattle and help his mother with ploughing and planting vegetables. His parents did not have money to pay for his school fees and there was no free school any more. The cattle were to help them to eat.

One day, Thabo made a big mistake. It was winter season and it was nearly time to harvest the maize. There were two hectares of maize in their neighbour’s fields. Nearby, Thabo was grazing his parents’ cattle. He wasoften alone and felt lonely, and he started to learn to smoke. An empty mind works for the devil. Dagga was a traditional cigar to his family, and he thought smoking would make him a strong man, not a coward, because cowards die many times before the fight starts.

It was winter season, the grass was dry and a very cold wind blew. He was stealing his father’s dagga as it was planted in the garden like other plants. He made long ‘zoli’ smoke until it drugged him and he left it on the rock. He was laughing and seeing more pictures. He was moving side to side like the ground was full of potholes. Then he sat down and fell asleep. Meanwhile, the zoli he left on the rock blew to the grass until it made uncontrollable big flames and smoke that reached the two hectares of maize ready to be harvested. It burnt the herds of cattle until only ashes were left.

Luckily the fire was not going towards where Thabo was sleeping, and everyone at home escaped the flames to find a safe place. When he woke up, he smelled the smoke. Parents and neighbours where very angry and worried about Thabo, as he was the only one missing after they looked for him, and they wanted to question him about that. When he arrived at home later, he was very scared. He told his parents that he saw a stranger coming in the direction of the field smoking a cigar, so he suspected that stranger of throwing the cigar and causing a fire.

His parents believed him, never thinking he was the one who caused the mess at that young age of 10 years. However, the neighbours didn’t believe his story and said they would visit a witchcraft doctor who would help to witchcraft the person who started the fire. That night Thabo decided to run away from home. The next morning, Thabo was missing, nowhere to be found.

He walked a night and two days, asking for a lift on the way, until he reached the Gauteng province anonymously. He became a street kid for five years. He enjoyed it by the end. At the beginning, it was a difficult life but he had no choice.

He slept by the corner of a well-known restaurant in the city. That’s the place he called his shelter during winter and rain. That place welcomed him on the first day of arrival until today. That place gave him food and a place to sleep. He spent most of the time asking for money and food from the rich who visited the restaurant, and without hesitation they gave it to him.

One night, thieves came and robbed the customers. There was no security and the robbers didn’t know Thabo was sleeping outside like a rabbit wearing his plastic blanket. They robbed and ran away. Thabo was the one who was at the scene and saw the robbers. He helped the restaurant owner and the police catch the robbers by identifying them.


Tell us: If you were Thabo would you have helped the police? Motivate your answer.