We are delighted to have met the second prize winner of our Essay Contest, with the theme being, ‘How has the Pandemic affected your life?’ Phumlani Wiseman Khumalo, is a 22 year-old student at the University of KwaZulu Natal Edgewood College of Education. He wins a R 750 stationery voucher.
His story was riveting, real and heartfelt. We thank all our entrants for their effort in entering our competition. Here is an extract from Phumlani’s essay: -
"That day the weather was frigid and unforgiving in Ntuzuma Township, as if it reflected the state that our country was in. Two peculiar men came to me and asked where my dad was. I told them that he had joined the protest, they nodded at each other and left. The protest began peacefully as all protests do, don’t they? Eventually things got heated, people started to throw stones at the police vans, some of them had petrol bombs and the police began to fire rubber bullets at protesters. Many people joined what became a complete riot instead of a peaceful protest. Quickly the police were overwhelmed and started to retreat.
The protestors became cheerful, their eyes gleaming with hope. Clearly the government was going to take them seriously and all the lockdown rules and regulations were going to be cancelled. Besides, if they don’t die of Covid-19, they will surely die from hunger.
The pandemic has hit us all hard. My father as of now is still not working. We are trying our best to get by. The government has realised a social relief grant to help the poor and the minimum wage employees who have been suspended or retrenched. It wasn’t enough but with teamwork, we do get by. The pandemic opened my eyes to always expect the unexpected and try to adapt. In the end, that makes us humans, our ability to adapt to an ever changing and demanding world."