My name is Khaya Dlamini, I am 12 years old and attend New Generation Combined Primary School in a rural village on the outskirts of Lenasia. I live with my parents and 2 siblings in a 1-bedroom shack that we share.
My principal, Mr Kumbi told me that I must join the Altus Sport programme. I asked him why and he said that “he sees me get bullied everyday” and maybe by joining this programme I can learn to stand up for myself. He wasn’t wrong!! I was bullied almost everyday of my life since I can remember, not because of how I look or how small I am but because where we live and how poor we are. Children especially doesn’t understand how hard it is growing up when you have almost nothing. Very little food, not a lot of clothes and sharing a bed with my parents and siblings. It isn’t easy but we as a family have everything we will ever need. We have love in our home, and we live peacefully together. That is all we need. That is why I couldn’t understand why I was bullied.
In the programme, coach Sisando taught us about bullying and different kinds of violence. The same kids that bully me was also attending the same sessions. In the end what I learnt was to stand up for myself and not to let others bully me. I knew that though… the biggest lesson that was learnt was to the boys that bullied me. I was so happy when they came to say sorry. The one boy, his name is Joseph, he said to me “Kumbi, I never realized I was hurting you because I didn’t beat you physically but now, I know that I hurt you emotionally and I am sorry.” I told him that I am happy and now we are friends.
All of us, we are mostly boys now talk to each other with respect. I have a lot of self-confidence and want to make sure that everyone has that as we are from a disadvantaged background but just because we are poor doesn’t mean we are poor. We are rich with love and happiness!