Diary of a rural girl chapter 57 - Mzansi Stories

Sunday, July 26


Diary of a rural girl chapter 57


The rural girl who went to Gauteng

Moeketsi’s sad life story

Chapter 57

“Do I know you?” Moeketsi asked, as he sat down on a seat opposite mine, with his eyes fixed on mine. “No, Moeketsi”, I replied, “You don’t know me but I know you. God has sent me to come and save you”. The moment became much tenser than before as there was silence between us for a few seconds. “God?” Moeketsi said, with a silly-looking look in his bloodshot eyes, “God has sent you in here to come and save me?” I said nothing and only nodded. Moeketsi then stood up from his chair and asked the police officer to take him away because he did not want to continue speaking to me. “Please Moeketsi”, I pleaded with him, “Wait, I am even prepared to pay your bail tomorrow. I could’ve paid it today however they told me that the cashier had already knocked off for the day”.

Moeketsi sat down again, stared at me and said, “Okay, what has God sent you to tell me?” I was silent for a few minutes because I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t want to say something creepy like, “I dreamt about you last night, Moeketsi”. I mean, who dreams of complete strangers they’ve only met once and later on tell them when the opportunity to do so presents itself? I checked the time on my cellphone and realised that it was 15h25, which meant that I had only 35 minutes left with Moeketsi. I also knew that what I had to say to him needed way too much time than I had at hand and therefore decided not to get deep into details.

“Look”, I said to Moeketsi, “As you’ve already mentioned, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Why would I care if you’re in here or not? I mean, tomorrow I am coming back to pay R1 000 bail money for you; why should I? It’s not like I don’t need that money, you know!” Moeketsi leaned closer to the window and said, “Okay, I am all ears; why are you doing all of these? What’s in it for you?” I let out a silly, girlish laugh and said, “Nothing. I am only doing this because of the deep love that the Lord Almighty has for you and is trying to show His love to you through me”.

“Oh”, Moeketsi said, “Is that so? If God really loves me, where was He all my life?” I looked at Moeketsi and noticed that there were now tears coming out of his bloodshot eyes. “Let me tell you the story of my life. My name is Moeketsi Kgaladi and I am 15 years old. I am originally from Zeerust but we moved to Lotus Gardens in Atteridgeville together with my family when I was still young, I think I was about 7 at the time. Even though he was there when I grew up, my father ran off with another woman shortly after we arrived here. After my father left, my mother had plenty of boyfriends so that they could support us financially as she was unemployed herself. Eventually, my mother’s sleeping around with multiple partners caught up with her as she was told at the local clinic that she was HIV positive when she was pregnant with my youngest brother, from one of her boyfriends. My mother passed away in late 2013 and as a result of that, I had to drop out of school so that I could look for a job to put food on the table for me and my siblings. I have two siblings, by the way, a sister and a brother; I am the oldest”.

I began to cry as I was listening to Moeketsi’s sad life story. “Who would employ an underage, unskilled child in a country whose constitution condemns the use of child labourers?” Moeketsi continued. That is what I was told from place to place where I knocked on the doors asking for a job. ‘South African law does not permit the employment of minors’, they all said to me. When that did not work for me, I took to the streets to go and beg at the traffic lights. That’s where I learned how heartless many South Africans are. People will literally let you starve to death because they assumed that I was there by choice. I was caught and warned a few times by members of the SAPS and the Tshwane Metro Police officers. They all threatened to arrest me if they ever caught me again begging for money on the streets. I didn’t want to take chances and therefore decided to stop”.

“Whenever I arrived home to find my siblings starving; I would cry all night. Mid-2014 I resorted to crime to feed my siblings. I would pickpocket in town however after I saw people beating another purse-snatcher in town to death, I didn’t want the same fate to befall me and therefore decided to stop pickpocketing in town. I began to target malls and whenever I would steal something, I would sell it and later buy a few essentials that we would eat on that night. I was caught yesterday and my siblings, wherever they are, spent the night hungry”, Moeketsi concluded. “Oh Moeketsi”, I said, wishing that I could give him a hug, “Can you see now that God has been watching over you and is now preparing to pull you out of your difficulties? He…” I was interrupted by a police officer who came to fetch Moeketsi as the time was now up. “I’ll be back tomorrow, Moeketsi, I promise”, I said to him as he was being taken away.

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