I'm sending you this essay my daughter wrote for an exam piece.
We wish to remain anonymous for personal reasons.
It is very emotive but it speaks for those children, who found themselves in similar circumstances, but their voices were never heard.
I hope it brings comfort to some and lets them know that their emotions and circumstances can never be minimilised.
The Call of the Wild
I had always been a farm girl. I had lived, breathed, eaten everything that nature provided.
I lived to be free.
I was ten years old at the time, naive, young and only wanting to play.
But although I did not understand what was happening to the extremes.
I still knew.
I knew the day my dad came home with slashes on his face and a swollen eye. I knew the day they surrounded my home and chanted the war cries of money and greed.
Although I may have been naive, I knew my life would slowly crumble.
The things I didn't know were why?
These people, trying to burn down our house, were the people who helped raise me. The people who held me whilst my dad was out farming and my mother was working. They helped me become who I was. But now looking on it six years later, I understand.
I can't justify what they did, but I can understand.
They were poor, with children and so they did whatever they had to do to save their families.
Just as my dad was doing for us.
So as the economy of Zimbabwe began to deteriorate by the day. My mother dragged her way into my bedroom. And with a sunken face, protruding cheeks bones and no glint of hope in her eyes, she said "Se, we're leaving."
Reality stepped in as I screamed, "No mummy, we can't! This is my home."
"No this isn't home any more. We don't have anything left."
As the words came pouring out, so did the tears. My mother was my rock, my strength and support, and now that support was crashing down.
The next day, I sat in the boot of our Mercedes Station Wagon, with my only friend. My dog Millie. I said goodbye to the life I once knew. To the place I took my first steps, said my first words, felt my first emotion. I said goodbye to my tree I knew so well, to the dam where I learnt to swim, to the fields where I used to run free. I said goodbye to my world.
Two years later, Millie died.
At that moment, I felt worse than I had when I drove out the gate of my farm.
Letting go of Millie was letting my life go.
Letting go of the final pieces of home.
So I ran, to a park, anything that could come close to the feeling of space. And as I watched the pumping city of Cape Town spin around me, I climbed into a new tree, and tried to fight the call of the wild.
Because from that moment, I knew it would never be fulfilled.