By the third day, I’d started thinking that I might have to look for another place to stay. Maybe at the end of the week I would speak to my new teacher, a young man from Zimbabwe, and see if he could help. If I could have known what was coming, I would not have waited even one day longer. By the time I came home from school on the third day, it was all too late already…


As I turned the corner into our street, I wondered why a police van was parked there, close to Gogo’s house. But as there were no blue lights flashing and no crowd standing around it, I did not suspect anything.

I walked home slowly, feeling hungry and a bit tired after the long day at school. So much was still new to me there. I not only had to get to know the teachers and all the other learners, but several of the subjects were taught differently to the way I was used to.

I had reached the house and was walking through the garden when a grey-haired police officer appeared at the door, with Gogo beside him.

‘That’s him!’ she said, pointing her thin finger towards me. The policeman walked up to me while Gogo waited at the door. I didn’t make a move. I still had no clue what was going on. A second policeman, younger than the first, appeared behind Gogo and stood looking at me curiously. Only now did I realise that no other kids were around. They must have all been ordered into the house.

The first policeman had reached me now. Without a word, he grabbed my arm and put handcuffs around my wrists. Then he said, in an official manner: ‘Mbu Maloni, you are arrested.’ I could not believe what I was hearing. I was sure I had done nothing wrong since my return to Masizakhe.

I started shouting: ‘But why? I have done nothing!’ The younger policeman joined us and they shoved me towards their van. The older one unlocked the back door and they both pushed me in roughly.

‘You know very well what you’ve done!’ the younger officer said to me, with an ugly grin on his face.

The older one turned the ignition key and the motor rumbled to life. Over the noise, he shouted into the back of the car: ‘You have abused that little boy who was kind enough to share his bed with you – you are a rapist!’

It was as if someone had knocked me on the head with a heavy hammer. This was beyond my worst imagination. There was only one person who could have invented this story, and she had done it out of revenge . . .

Tell us what you think: What is Gogo interested in achieving?