Author: Phillimon Sefake
Kethabile was born and bred in Limpopo, Indermark village, South Africa. A beautiful village surrounded by mountains and rivers. Most people there called it Indas Maboneng,( Land of Lights). Most people at Indas are working for white farmers and earn little income. They wake up early in the morning for work, and arrive home late, ( 04:00-21:00). They work like slaves and get little money.
This bad situation at Indas make Kethabile to love school and his dream is to be a doctor. Kethabile is a “pedi” name which means ” I’m Happy” or to be happy. It’s a beautiful name indeed.
People at Indas were cruel, because some parents forced their children to work with them on the farms, because they lack school fees. This village have five schools, three primaries and two secondaries. These are the names of schools, Marumofase secondary school, Maphutha secondary school, Kgobokanang secondary school, Mphokaneng Secondary school and Boikhutso primary school.
Kethabile started his schooling at Indermark pre-school at young age ( 5 years) 1994. Kethabile is very stubborn because every time when it is raining he refused to go to pre-school with his friends. His mother spoiled him because she never beat him for being stubborn, even if he does something wrong, she’s always defending him. Sometimes mothers are overprotective to their children and this is not good because they damage the children’s brains.
” Kethabile is a child, leave my child alone,” she is shouting to his brother Thabang, which means, ” Rejoice.”
” That’s madness,” Thabang the elder brother to him is shouting also, ” all children obey their parents and children are innocent and they please their parents, so what kind of a child Kethabile is?” But still his mother defend him.
The following day the sky is clear and it’s not raining, but his brother refused to go with him, because he is very angry about yesterday’s issue. He left to school early because he is afraid for being late at school, because he know that Kethabile walk too slowly when he go to pre-school, sometimes he can stop and cry so loudly so that’s why his brother left and leave him, that morning his mother forced him to go to pre-school with his friends, Matome, Sello, David and Peter.
At pre-school Kethabile fight everyday. His mother were called every week to solve his matter with the teacher. Every kid is calling him tau ( lion) because he use to beat and irritate other children when they’re sleeping, even his brother like to call him a lion. Children at pre-school were afraid of him, they were always complaining about him even the teacher, Mrs Ledwaba.
Peter always challenge him, and he did not afraid of him because they were friends, and he is tall and big, all kids calls him a giraffe. They were also afraid of him, except Kethabile. They used to fight each other, and after fight there’s no one defeated, but they were both crying, you know kids. They can cry more than mourning.
At his young age he had an ambition, like other kids. His ambition is to be a doctor, and heal children by giving them medicine.
” You can’t predict children’s future by their current situation, because children change their attitude, when they grow up.” Said the Teacher, after Kethabile had told them that he want to be a doctor to heal sick people. God is the only one who knows the future.
In places like Indermark parents fail to discipline their children, because most children when they reach the age of 14 and 15 they start to smoke weed and drink alcohol and unable to finish their school grades, that’s too bad. In life people get things that they did not want and take wrong choices and regret it later.
Life is like a wheel, if you’re happy today, don’t forget that tomorrow, you’ll be sad and crying. So do the right things, seek wisdom while it maybe found. Obey your parents and love your friends and school. Don’t do stupid things and bully other children. Respect other children and you’ll live longer. Children like Kethabile had no idea about life. They always get what they want, because their parents are always there for them. Every child is born to achieve and do great things, so children must live wisely success will come to them as they grow up. Most children don’t know where they’re going until they get there.
In 1995, Kethabile graduated, and from there attended Kgobokanang primary school together with his old friends. He is ( 6 years) old now. ” Kgobokanang means ” come together” or ” get together,” he has been in school for two weeks but still loves it. They participated for school activities, acting dramas, singing, writing poems and other activities. Kgobokanang primary is one of the best at Indaz. Kethabile is good in poetry, he wrote many poems and take position one at Polokwane.
Everyday after school Kethabile and his friends go down to the river to play soccer, and they even help old women who cut the woods in the bush to cross the river. This is a good thing because they help old people. Sometimes they chase monkeys away from the river, just for fun. They enjoy playing in the river especially on Friday afternoon, and is very dangerous. They did not think that one day large of water would come flowing and wipe them away.
One Friday afternoon they went to play at the river as usual, while playing and laughing they see large of water coming. It’s summer time the season of rain, then they manage to escape the water and run away from the river and go home.
Without thinking Kethabile tells his brother about it, and his brother became angry and beat him with one clap on the face and he cry the whole day. And when their mother came home from work Thabang explain everything to her. And their mother became angry also!
” Kethabile are insane?”, She said, then she flog him.
After flogging him, she tells Kethabile about a young boy who was drowned and died at the same river Kethabile and his friends play in,ten years ago. The boy went to the river to play soccer with his friend, he died there because his little friend fail to help him. They were playing near water you know kids like to do things without thinking.
The young boy and his friend undressed their clothes and started to swim in a deep water, while enjoy swimming little boy drowned and other boy fail to pull him up and run away and when he get home, he keep quite until the next day. Then next morning he tells them what’s happened yesterday at the river, then they call the police to rescue him but it was too late.
They search for a period of four hours in the water with the police dog. They were about to give up, when the police dog smells and found the body of a innocent boy. His granny started to cry for a long time, she was mourning for her lovely grandchild. It was a sad day indeed. The following day after the event, the police van were patrolling chasing children away from the river. Let your children be a priority, not an option, because childhood is the most important part of everybody’s life. Let parents love their children.
There was a child also called Enoch, this child travels long distance in the bush hunting alone. One day when he come back home from the bush, he found the river full of water, so he stuck there in need of help, and people call the police to rescue him. This is terrible.
After Kethabile heard this sad stories. He became very shocked and terrified. He never went to the river again, he changes for a little while. At Kgobokanang school he is very intelligent when it comes to his performance. His school work surprises every teacher. He like reading and writing. He write essay about:
Kids should come first:
” Let your children be a priority because you’re the most important person in their lives. They need to be cherished, loved and cared for, consider yourself lucky to be a child. Childhood is the most important part of everybody’s life.” Kethabile Setwaba! Grade 4- Learner!
He is very outstanding indeed, he gets position one out of 80 learners and awarded a certificate for being the best in Literature. He is good in Literature, but he’s very stubborn. His friend Peter get position two, he’s very clever also. They even won a trip to compete with other children at Polokwane it was November 1999, the year before new millennium. People thought that the world will end there even Kethabile.
At grade 5, Kethabile and his friends become rebellious and disobedience. It is amazing year for them, being happy to do grade 5, sometimes they come late at school and flog other children. The situation became worse when Kethabile beat Refiloe, it is said, he demanded money and pens from her before the beatings.
The next day Refiloe which means ” given” report him to the principal Mr Lekota. Mr Lekota become very furious when he heard that, and he punished him. He ordered him to wash windows and he arrived home late.
But he’s very intelligent, but very aggressive were teachers always complains about him, but that is nothing compared to his intelligency. There in grade 5 is where the hell broke the loose, like he is reaching adolescent stage.
In grade 5 his marks drops down. It is shameful that he is condoned to grade 6. It’s okay to fall apart for a little time you don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there’s no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. Life is fragile sudden, and shorter than shorter than it’s often seems. So you must spend your day so wisely and pause long enough to appreciate it. Every moment is a gift, you must not waste your time by dwelling on unhappy things. Struggling with problems is a natural part of growing.
Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles. Treat others with love and respect. Bringing joy to other people’s lives will help you find joy in your own. In addition, those that you treat well will like to repay you with the same kindness. Gradually you will start to feel your worth through the smiles of gratitude. However, don’t just be very kind to people so you can receive royal treatment.
Every child must learn to share a meal or toys with other children. Create a goodwill, and thankfulness by practicing random deeds of kindness. Share your being with others in many ways. Share your knowledge in nice way or make a small donation of toys to a needy children or to an unfortunate child. Share opportunities for your potential happiness by sharing goals and accomplishments with other children.
At least he did well in grade 6, at grade 7, he goes to Gauteng to enroll at another school, he moved from rural areas to urban areas with his brother Thabang. He is really happy about the journey to Johannesburg. They stayed at Petit, Benoni in waiting to enroll at new school to complete his grade 7 and go to secondary. And he is ready to make new friends.
After three months when he is busy studying and enjoying at new school. The hell broke the loose “cause” his brother lost a job. Tension arises because his brother wanted to hit back home to Limpopo, together with his little brother.
” Everything will be fine,” said Thabang. He is trying to comfort him, suddenly sad tears fell from Kethabile’s eyes. Because he wants to go to school and be happy about city lifestyle, meaning he must also go back home with his brother. He thought that his dreams for schooling at urban areas is shattered and dashed. His dreams is also shattered.
Next morning his brother and his colleagues were evicted from the apartment, they were accused of stealing. It is a bad day for little Kethabile, then he thought so many things. That morning they pack and left to taxi rank, meaning hitting back to Limpopo. They arrived at the taxi rank………….
Thanks so much for reading this short story please read it out aloud to your children and educate them