Bright Futureby Anita Mjamba / 19.11.2013
We are a youth, a youth that have a lot of opportunities, a youth that has so much potential. We come from the different backgrounds, we have different minds, but there’s one thing that unites us, something that is making us a family, helping to make us to think positively… it’s all the waves we ride on, the surfboard makes us focus.
But remember we are fighting our enemies here. You will ask yourselves: who are these enemies? It’s the crime and the violence we fight each and every day; the robber that makes us the victims, raped and beaten for no good reason. We face this after school in our communities. We are facing so many issues at an early age. Some of us are forced to not to live our normal lives. Peer pressure is chasing us, forcing us to make negative choices. We could be the masters, be the boss and it can make us popular. But we forget who we want to be in the future, who we want to be inside.
Some issues make us forget who we are. Family conflicts cause stress and you will find out that the enormous reason there’s so much youth gangsters around our schools and the communities is because there’s no love among our family: parents are separated. Single parents take out their stress on their children, kids end up being drug dealers and drug addicts. When you try to make a positive change your always being seen as nothing but a fruitless child.
I’m not blaming anyone but I have questions that I can’t even answer. We walk in streets where there’s no peace, which are full of hatred, where everyone thinks of quick cash, think only of today’s meal, where there’s anger and the streets are full of blood. We survive by praying, hiding and make what’s best for us, so that we can see the sunrise tomorrow.
You find us laughing, we don’t want better people to know how we feel, what it’s like to face the danger, conflicts. Sometimes we cannot put our feelings into words because it hurts. If you didn’t know, most of areas that black people live are full of crime and they are in danger. In other words the black South African Western Province is full of crime and violence.
I was part of the gang world. I was a drug addict. I got pregnant. I’ve dropped out of school. I was a rugby player. I was a soccer player and a hip-hop dancer. But I never gave up with my life. I went back to school after having a child because I knew being negative ain’t gonna make change in my life.
I told myself there was still time to live the dream I have wished for since I was young. The “sky is the limit” for me with the mind I have. I’ll be who I wanna be and I can make even how hard it is. I’m young and I still have a brighter future.
* Images, except first, © Robin Bernstein