12 September 2018

Feeling inferior and ashamed

Sharing the same clothes and shoes with his two brothers left Kabelo feeling inferior and ashamed of himself.

"My father was the only one working and his salary was not enough to provide for all of us. He borrowed money from our neighbours to buy food and he could not pay them back. We exchanged clothes and shoes because there was no money to buy enough for each of us. We had one pair of shoes that we shared for special occasions. I felt we were the laughing stock in our neighbourhood.  That made me feel inferior and ashamed of myself," said Kabelo.

To shift his focus away from his family's financial problems, Kabelo drank alcohol and went to parties from the age of 14.

"Being away with my friends gave me temporary relief. I went to parties on weekends and drank alcohol that my friends bought for me. I went home late at night when my parents were sleeping because I did not want them to know that I was drinking," said Kabelo.

That same year his mother invited him to the Universal Church. He attended services because he wanted to please his mother while he continued with his wild life. He recalls a day he was almost arrested for having an illegal street bash.

"We closed the roads without permission from the municipality and the neighbours. People called the police because they could not use the road and we played loud music. I saw the police coming and I ran away because being arrested was going to expose my wild life to my parents," he said.

That incident challenged Kabelo to change his lifestyle and surrender his life to God. He took part in the chains of prayer on Mondays and prayed for his father's finances. On Fridays he prayed for his deliverance from alcohol.

"I stopped going to parties with my friends and I was completely delivered from alcohol. In 2014, I completed my matric. My father's salary was increased and he was able to take care of us. The following year, I enrolled for a diploma in mechanical engineering. I was awarded a bursary to study for a diploma in chemical engineering.

I did my apprenticeship in 2016 and I was able to contribute money for food at home and buy good clothes for myself. This year I bought myself a car. I am now confident because I can afford the things I could not before. God removed the shame of my youth," said Kabelo.