Chapter 5

“I am not good and speeches or talks to be quite honest I hate every second of being up here “ I say I can’t help notice the dead stares people give me after I say that. It is true I hate talking about my life I pray every day that I have the strength to rewrite another narrative for my life.

“As you might have heard my name is Ziphezinhle Tenza I am 21 years old and currently studying my final year at DUT. This centre grew me I arrived here as a 16 year old girl whom I have grown up not to recognize every day when I look at myself in the mirror I do not see that girl in me.  There is no better way to say how I ended up here but to simply say I stabbed my mother’s husband. I stabbed him 10 times to be exact” I say I hear a few people grasps.

“I always comfort myself by saying ‘atleast I didn’t kill him’.  There are many reasons why I stabbed him one of them being the fact that he took my mother away from me. My mother took her own life I was the one who found her hanging from the ceiling in my bedroom

and I still don’t know why she chose to kill herself in my room and not hers or any other room in the house for that matter. She suffered from severe depression I lost her when I was 3 years old I think.

I say lost her because that is the last time I felt my mother’s love. From what I hear that’s when my step father found out that I wasn’t his child. The depression was caused by the fact that she couldn’t conceive. In the 17 years they had been married she couldn’t fall pregnant the pressure grew after he found out I was an illegitimate child. I found out all of this by hearing his elders speak when they were at home every time my mother called them after he had molested her or beat her up to a pulp. My mother and I hardly spoke if she wasn’t crying she was drinking her life away. I never understood why he pressured her to have child since he had children of his own from his previous marriage plus he was way older than my mother. I met his children once I was 9 years old I think.

The day before she killed herself I found him molesting her in the living room I walked into her screaming after school. I remember how numb I felt seeing her bent over the coffee table screaming as if she didn’t want anyone to hear her screaming.

I didn’t know any of her family members I still don’t know any of them till this day. Without the love and support from this centre I am pretty much an orphan” I say I attempt continuing but words just fail to come out I feel my mouth opening but I no words come out. I feel tears streaming down my face I realize that this is actually the first time I have spoken about this in the 5 years that it’s happened. After what seems like a life time I decide to walk off the stage I walk until I am seated on what was my bed when I arrived here 5 years ago. 


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