The most important thing I learned during my 2 weeklong stay in the Kamhlushwa township near Nelspruit, Mpumalanga is that you don’t need much money to have a beautiful life. You don’t need money to be open, you don’t need money to be generous and most of all you don’t need money to be happy.
I know that most of you think you know that; I also thought I knew it before I got to know those south-african township people. They really have nothing but a small house, maybe a little bit of electricity and the toilet is a hole in the ground behind the house.
They eat as little as possible because they don´t have a penny to waste but they still made my plate full every day and gave me the best pieces of meat they had. Many times the neighbours came over to bring me food as well so that I was never hungry. That is how generous the township people are; they have nothing but they still give you everything.
They also shared their culture with me. They showed me their traditional clothing, they taught me to dance their cultural dance, they thought me how to cook their food (I even slaughtered a chicken) and to speak Siswati. A friend even gave me the Siswati name “Tandiwe”, which means “the loved one”.
Nearly all children go to school there but education is poor and the students have no great perspective in life after metric. That is because most of them repeat many grades due to pregnancies (half of the girls in my class were already mothers) or no discipline in class. In most rooms there were about 65 students and not enough tables and chairs so it is very hard for the teacher to control the class.
Especially the girls have not much time to study because they have to cook at home and take care of the many children. That’s why many of them start sexual relationships with teachers in order to pass the grade.
Still, and probably because of that entire people there are just happy with what they have. That really amazed me and I learned so much from everyone I met there. They changed my perspective in and on live and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to live with them for a while.
THANK YOU KAMHLUSHWA!