from: Levi Sekgapane
to: David Matiwane
date: 5 November 2016 at 19:22
subject: news from Levi
Yoh, this has all been so intense. But don’t worry, I’m fine.
So, I found Triangle Project. They’re sooooooo dope.
Right off the bat I meet one of their counsellors. Her name is Trish and she’s cool. She has red hair and she dresses really fly. She’s like 24 and has a degree in Gender Studies from UCT. Who knew you could even study that? Maybe I’ll study that. If I get into Uni. We’ll see.
The people here are so friendly it’s like I’m dreaming. They’re like … family. What family should be like.
They listened to everything I said and when I cried a little she let me cry and didn’t make me stop. She’s so cool and kind it’s so nice. They’re not pushy either. They just let you talk.
Soooo the bottom line is that basically they don’t have a hostel here like I thought. I thought this was like, a … what you call it? Safe house. Where gay people like me who have been driven away from home can live till … till…
Well I don’t know when. But anyway.
So I talked to Trish for like one hour and she gave me tea and a sandwich with chicken mayo. I scoffed it so fast you should have seen, lol. I didn’t pack food.
Then she called in one of her colleagues, an older coloured guy called Vernon and she was like, “Shall we get him into the shelter?” and I was like “What shelter?”
I didn’t want to go to a shelter, I thought it’s for homeless people. Trish explained that technically it is for the homeless or ‘displaced’ as she calls it, but I don’t need to worry cos its clean, safe, etc. She did say though that it’s very basic and not a hotel. She said it’s kind of like a hostel.
So that’s where I’m writing from now. The shelter. They have a library with wifi. Their selection of books is not the best, I have to say.
The food is … I give it a 5/10. The stew is OK, but nothing like Aunt Blessing’s.
I miss you.
There are some pretty interesting people here. I met a prostitute who got beaten up so bad she lost her memory. How hectic is that? Next level.
And there’s this sweet old lady called Mary who lost her husband and had no job and was selling home-made necklaces at the robots but then had a stroke so she couldn’t anymore, so she stays here too as well.
She’s teaching me to knit. She bought 4 balls of wool with some money her step-son sent her (he lives in KZN). So I’m knitting myself a beanie. Do you want one? I’ve got red, brown, blue and pink.
Lol, I’ll make you a pink one.
I’m OK. I’m kind of lonely. There’s a few young people here but I still don’t feel at home. They make us do chores and I don’t mind, I don’t, really, but it’s a bit … I don’t know. I feel a bit like I’m at a reformatory. Like I did something wrong. Did I do something wrong? I don’t think being yourself is wrong.
They organised for a counsellor to come and see me every week for a talk. Her name is Thembi and she’s pretty nice and everything but like, I don’t know. She asks me stuff about home and I don’t know how to tell her how I hate my life. I did start to, but she looks kind of stressed out. She’s cool, but it’s her job, she has so many people to listen to.
She did give me a number though, of someone near where I live who works for the Project; it’s like a person I can go to talk to, and join the meetings they have in safe spaces where people like me can share. Kind of like a safe place close to home.
I need friends. Real friends. I need you.
Tell us: How would you feel if you got a letter like this from someone you knew? What would you do?