I look at Karabo's big brother as he offloads groceries they are very luck ey 

I wish I had a bigger brother who could do thatI wouldn’t care where or how he got as long as we have food to eat 

Every body knows that Karabo’s brother is part of a local gang they steal or killI don’t know ey

Which is why I say that some people are richer than others even though we all live in shacks but how they look outside show you exactly where poverty lives 

I used to ask my mother about my fatherhey don’t look at me like that there are times where the poverty gets too much and I would think that maybe he can help us 

I know how I was concieved but hunger can make you go beg even your enemy and there were days when my mother would be very sick especially in winter and I would look at all the possibilities 

I am not saying that I want him to be my father but I bet that man is very rich if he could afford to have maids and garden boy but I saw how it made my mom feel so I stopped asking her that and I accepted our situation 

Life in the shacks is not easy studying becomes hard sometimes the noise made by the neighbors not just them everyone just makes noise in the shacks 

Some days you hear people fighting and cursing kids crying or laughing omama bestokvel talking about everything and anything church ladies talking about how Sunday was or the word 

Girls gossiping about the hottest guys in the area 

Life is very busy here and you just have to stay in your laneyou don’t wanna find yourself in the wrong bus

Me: yazz ma aboKarabo are very lucky

Mom:what makes you say that?

Me: their brother was offloading groceries today 

Mom: so you wish you were them? Baby you need to be happy with what you have and stop wishing for what others have you don’t know how the got those things

Me: I can’t be happy with not knowing what we will eat tomorrow

Mom: God will provide baby don’t you worry 

It amazes me how mom still has hope in God after everything she has been through 

She is one hell of a strong woman 

Every day I wake up and just want to make her proud

I wake up and look at my surroundings and I want to change them

I wake up the following day and prepare for school 

Weirdly my mom is not awake she is still sleeping

She usually wakes up and warms water for me but today she didn’t and that worries me 

I shake her and slowly she opens her eyes 

Me: uryt ma?

Mom:I’ll be fine Nanajust go to school 

Me: I hope you get better ma 

I say then rush out as long as she is still breathing I am fine 

I get to school sweaty I was running couldn’t afford to be late when my first class is maths 

I’m always the outcast in class which is why I have my own desk because I smell

Yes I do sweat and my armpits smell at times since it’s not always easy to get toiletries

I don’t care though

Khanyo: you are so quiet today?

Me:I’m not a talker though

Khanyo:but you do talk to me but today it’s like you are here but your mind is far even in class you didn’t ask questions nor answer them 

Khanyo is the only girl who sees me beyond my poverty she has helped me a lot with toiletries and some clothes 

It’s embarrassing I’ll admit but because I know it’s all coming from a good place 

Me: my mom was not looking good this morning when I left 

Khanyo: that’s not good news hopefully she will be okaylet me go get us snacks I’ll be back 

She gets up and leaves and I sit down and watch soccer as other boys play

let me go get us snacks I’ll be back 

She gets up and leaves and I sit down and watch soccer as other boys play some have said I’m gay since I don’t play soccer but I know why I’m not and I don’t even argue with people who make speculations about me 

I look at khanyo as she makes her way back to me Khanyo is a dark beauty why she is friends with me I don’t knowmany people have teased her about it but she really didn’t care 

Khanyo:one of these good days I am going to beat the shit out of Hlehleif she doesn’t Saturday away from me and stop putting her big nose where it shouldn’t be

Me: you don’t wanna be suspendedso please don’t  fight her you know she can be dramatic

Khanyo: yeah yeah I won’t Z anyways I have good news

I look at her giving her my full attention 

Khanyo: My parents gave me some money and I am going to give it to you since I don’t really need itI have enough clothes

Me: Kay you need to stop giving me your money

Khanyo:I’d rather give it to you than buy shoes that are going to collect dust in my closet this time around we will buy groceries for you and your mom I’ve got clothes for youI put your name in my mother’s listwith all your sizes 

I look at Kay as much as I don’t like this but with her I am not embarrassed by my poverty she makes it seem like nothing 

Me:what would I be without  you?

Kay: we would be boring without each other

We chilled together throughout break time even in class and then after school we went to the closest shopping center and we spent R1000 on food and we bought toiletries for me and mom 

We took a taxi and headed to my home 

I notice that everything is the same as it was when I left this morning and my mom is still in bed 

Khanyo attends to her

Khanyo: Z your mother is burning up we need to get her to the clinic

Me: she looks weak and won’t be able to walkI don’t have a car and so do you

Khanyo: and my parents are out of townisn’t there anyone you can try?

Me: Karabo’s brother

Khanyo: whooooaaaaa definitely not him I heard when you ask that guy for a favor you have to offer him somethingyou have to give him something l he doesn’t just help

Me: I have no choice and besides I have nothing to offer him and he knows that too 

 She just nodded and I ran to Karabo’s place and from a distance I spot his brother’s car 

Thank God he’s home 

I knock and knock at his shack but no one answers 

Just when I was turning to give up he opens the door and I tell him everything 


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