My Escape from Poverty – Part 3

The first time I tried to escape was towards the end of 1998. My life as I knew it was falling apart. The school I just adjusted to was closing down, and I knew my grandparents did not have the money to send me to another school. I was frustrated and scared.

So one morning, I exploded. I was working for the holidays, and as I was preparing for work, my uncle instructed me to comb my hair. I decided not to do it. So he pinned me down with his knees and violently brushed my hair, hurting me in the process. So I got mad. I wanted to fight him, but I knew he was stronger. I ran outside pick up stones and stoned him, and in the process, damaged the roof. I then ran to work.

I worked the whole day and thought that everything would be cooled off when I returned from work. But when I returned home, my uncle and grandfather were waiting for me. They decided to give me a hiding. Both of them were already under the influence of alcohol. So I decided I had enough and decided to run away.

My plan was simple, I would take one of the dirt roads until I get to the coast and then walk along the coast to Cape Town. I did not plan for what I would do in Cape Town, but I knew I had to get out. I did not have money, no food or any clothes with me. I had a pair of worn-out shoes, a pair of green trousers (I got from someone) and I think a white t-shirt.

I was high on adrenaline, and I was walking and running almost 15km before I got tired and decided that I will rest. There was a stormwater drain next to the road, and I decided to hide there for a while. I was hiding because the road went through various farms, and I was scared of the farmers. I knew too many young people my age who have been beaten up by farmers. While I was sitting in the stormwater drain, I fell asleep.

To be continued

2 thoughts on “My Escape from Poverty – Part 3

  1. Mr. Cloete, it’s been a while. I’m organizing something small and intimate in Graafwater for Youth month. We recently established a Youth Forum from the Municipality side, with one of our partners Open-Up. Be my guest _ Please

    Liked by 1 person

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