Yonela Keiskamma

This is a small essay written by Yonela Ngcwembe, a student Marilyn Scott met while working in the classrooms of the Keiskamma Trust. Thank you Yonela for writing this essay and sharing your story with us!


I am a girl who grew up with grandparents. My mother and father separated when I was a little girl. I have no siblings and that is the worst part of my life. It hurts me so bad having no siblings but I have to accept it.

My life changed when I lost my loving grandfather in 2008. We shared great moments together and he was everything to me. I used to promise him that when I grew up I would buy him a big, big, house. He would just laugh at me and say “if I would still be alive.” I was looking forward to spending more time with him. He died through natural causes and I understand he was too old.

After my grandfather’s death, I went to live with my mother in Port Elizabeth. Other learners at my new school started to tease me and call me names that I’m a “farm girl.” I never wasted my time listening to those things.

Dreaming is my thing and I wish one day they will be granted. As a child I wanted to be a doctor but now I want to be a pilot. Others think I’m crazy but I’m not. I want to be a pilot and I know I’ll make it.

To know my father is what I always wished for. He never supported me ever since he left my mother. I don’t know whether he is thinking about me but I would like to meet him one day and have a father by my side.

Laughing is my habit but I don’t laugh at serious matters. I am short tempered but I can control my temper. I love spending time with my friends. I can’t imagine myself without them.

Life is a journey and we will meet different challenges.

(In January 2015 Marilyn received the following message via facebook from Yonela: 

“I just received my matric results on Tuesday and I passed with an admission to bachelor’s degree. I’m so happy and my mama is so proud of me. I hope I will fulfil my dream of being a pilot. Much love xxxx”)