Hallo, my name is Naasir…

The kids shout at me and call me Bunny. It is very ugly to call someone that, but they do it anyway… I stay with my great grandmother and I am nine years old. I realise now that life has not turned out like I thought it would.

My mother is a Tik addict and she wanted to drown me in the toilet when I was two weeks old. My great grandmother and auntie Cathy came to fetch me before the social workers could put me in a home. I call my grandma Mummy and my aunty Tietie. I still sleep with my grannie in her bed. I’m too scared to sleep on my own, but now it’s getting a bit tight because aunt Tietie’s daughter and her baby also sleep there.

I am not allowed to run around too much, because I have a bad chest. I battle to breath when I play a bit, and everybody says it’s because my mother was using Tik when she was expecting me. I don’t know if that’s true or not…

I really struggle with my schoolwork.  I keep on writing the e, the d and the b the wrong way round.I don’t really understand what’s going on in the classroom, which frustrates me so much that I start crying. The teacher also gets irritated with me and the kids tease me. A lot of times in the evening I can still hear them shouting: “Bunny, Bunny. Naasir is a Bunny.”

I have a couple of friends, but sometimes I realise that they’ve pushed me out of their circle. It feels like nobody wants me or likes me. I really don’t know what I will do if mummy dies. She is in her eighties and not very healthy. I wonder who will look after me and where I will go when she isn’t there anymore. The safest place in the world is when I am in her arms.

Mom screams at me a lot because I am always asking for a rand. Sometimes she smacks me. I know she only gets pension and that she hasn’t got a lot of money. But all the other children have chips and sweets, and I also want some. Mom is always the one that has to run around for something for the pot in the evenings. She always makes sure that the kids eat before she does. If there isn’t enough for her as well, she makes a cup of tea and asks the Lord to still her hunger.

If I am really naughty, they threaten me with calling my father. I don’t see my father that much and we hardly chat, except when he calls me to hit me. If it gets really serious and I don’t want to listen, they threaten to send me back to my mom and they keep on reminding me of the story when I was two weeks old.

I was one of the first to go to the Kid’s Club. I really like it there. All the aunties hug me and they always look out for me. Recently I did not want to go there anymore, but I still go because I like the soup and bread and fruit they give us in the afternoons. I know I can go and have supper with auntie Lewena every night, but I am very shy to tell her that I am hungry. I know mom often gets money for airtime and for something for the pot from auntie Lewena. But they don’t talk about that. It is their secret.

I remember a very nice day with mom, uncle Fourie and auntie Lisa at the Waterfront. We went  there for Mom’s birthday and we had nice seafood. And ice cream. I could not concentrate much on the food and cooldrinks, because there was a merry-go-round with cars which I wanted to ride in. It cost five rand. After we finished eating, uncle Fourie paid for me to ride in one of the cars. I was very scared, but a girlie who was not scared at all, came to sit next to me. She threw her arms in the air and laughed a lot. She was so pretty…  Nearly like an angel. And when the merry-go-round stopped, she gave me a beautiful smile and jumped off. I will never forget that day.

Everyday I wonder what is going to happen to me and if someone will ever give me such a beautiful smile again.