My name is Thabo Ngoxo. I was born in 1996 and I was born with a twin brother. I stayed here in Hamburg until I was three. Then I left with my brother and went to live with my grandmother, my father’s mother, in East London. We both grew up in front of her sight. We were very happy with her until death set us apart, when she passed in 2004. A few weeks later in 2004 my mother passed away. It was very strange for me.

I grew up wanting to be a scientist. I had the passion that if I would be a scientist I would find the cure for HIV and AIDS. We went to live with my aunt, my father’s sister, in East London and then in 2006 went to live with my other grandmother, my mother’s mother, in Cape Town.

In Cape Town I experienced lots of different things. I joined a basketball team, soccer, swimming and a music band. In December 2010 our grandmother in Cape Town became very sick and passed away in January 2011. It was very sad for all of us. We moved back to Hamburg to stay with our great grandmother. It was very nice to see her again.

In May 2013 I got the opportunity to fly to Germany as a musician with my brother, Thabiso, two other musicians and our music teacher, Helen. It was a great opportunity to see the world and be exposed to different things. We met wonderful people and extraordinary musicians. When I came back from Germany my great grandmother was very ill. She was diagnosed with cancer in her womb. In July my grandmother passed away.

After her funeral, when things were settled, I started realizing that I had lost a huge gift, my great grandmother. Things changed a lot. I now live with my twin brother and my cousin and we are living a happy life together. We are trying our best to plant the best seeds so that in the future we can harvest the best. I want to make sure that I walk on the right path so that I can become what I want to be, a doctor. Life has its ups and downs, but there is always a way out.


Thabiso Ngoxo.  26 July, 1996 is the day I saw the light of the planet earth, along with my twin brother. My parents were never married and were very young when my brother and I were born, so we never got the chance to stay with them. We stayed with my grandmother. After my grandmother and mother both passed away in 2004 we went to live with my aunt in East London. We stayed there two years. We always went back to Hamburg for holidays to see our great grandmother. One holiday we came back from Hamburg to stay with my aunt but we couldn’t find her at the place we were staying at. We were forced to go back to Hamburg and stay for two weeks with our great grandmother and then move to Cape Town and stay with my mom’s mother, who was quite young and fresh. We stayed in Cape Town about 5 years.

In January 2011 our grandmother from Cape Town also passed away and that’s when we stayed in Hamburg for good, with our great grandmother. We were not so happy about the idea of staying in Hamburg. We were very bored, missing all of our friends we left in Cape Town. It turned out moving to Hamburg was not a bad idea after all because we were introduced to music. In March 2011 we both joined the Keiskamma Music Academy and started playing the recorder. Hamburg is a special place for me and always will be. It helped me through a lot of difficulties, through music, my passion.

In 2013 my great grandmother died. She was 76 years old and died only 18 months after my father died. Going through all of that was horrible. We were left in our great grandmother’s house alone – me, my brother and my cousin who is one year younger than we are. The house felt so big and quiet, even though there were the three of us. We only had each other. We will always have each other. We will always be there for each other. This is something I tell myself every day because I know it is true and that’s how we were raised and taught by all of the people who raised us.

My dream is to open my own music school one day; expose something special to kids as it was exposed to me. I play recorder, violin, marimba, and a little bit of piano. Music is my passion. It helps me express my feelings and share joy with other people. The path that I am walking on is a very long journey that will never end.

Thank you, Thabo and Thabiso for sharing your stories!

Stay tuned for more stories from students in Hamburg. The students have granted Keiskamma Canada permission to publish their stories and post their photos. Each student holds a “talking stick” introduced by Keiskamma  Canada volunteers, Marilyn Scott and Neil Sawers, during oral English lessons. The married couple have have returned for 6 – 8 weeks each year for the last four years to volunteer with Keiskamma Trust.