“My mother left, my father left. I don’t see them anymore. My granny says I am four. I am a girl.” These painful words come from an orphan who has endured the harsh realities of growing without parents.
Tengentile’s house is on a hill where she lives with her grandmother. She doesn’t have clothes except the Swazi skirt that she inherited from her friend Nomthandazo who she thinks left to visit her Aunt’s place but five year old Nomthandazo had actually died.
Her grandmother prepares porridge and soup for her to eat every day and sometimes beans; she never allowed her to go to the children’s homes and taught her how to fetch water and to do other chores around the house.
Unbelievably Tengetile had never been in a car or bus; she was always home either playing or writing vowels on the exercise book that his father bought her. She had two friends Mnguni and Njabulo whom she used to play with emakhaya (make-believe home). Unlike other kids who would normally dream of big houses and beautiful clothes, Tengetile dreamed of cows, goats and she imagined herself leaving in a place surrounded with lots of fruit trees where people never go hungry.
Tengetile wished for a life that you may take for granted but to her goats, cows and fruit trees would mean the world.
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