Matric of the Month

Alutha Phahlane
Alutha PhahlaneMatric of the Month

My name is Alutha Phahlane a young Xhosa boy …from the Eastern Cape and currently residing at the Alexandra township.

I’m currently doing grade twelve this year at SSB(Sekolo sa Borokgo) High School and when I look back and I picture myself on the first day when I entered the gates of the AEC at Waverley Girls High School I knew nothing about life, I knew nothing about the storms and  heavy weights that life could throw at you, I was scared and with all the new happy faces I felt like a stain in a white shirt.

Today I’m wholeheartedly proud to say that AEC changed my life, it had been my guide through the stressful years of high school, it made me hopeful, gave me a chance to form denial into acceptance, confusion into clarity and had brought peace to my today which created a vision for my tomorrow.

At home we live in a three roomed house, not big enough but enough for safety. I stay with both my parents and my three siblings, with children at home and the noise from the streets it is quite difficult for me to concentrate on my studies during the day, especially during exams. Last year in my finals I literally had to sacrifice my sleep and study when everyone is asleep around nine or ten o’clock till 1 o’clock midnight and sometimes I wouldn’t sleep at all especially when writing mathematics or accounting. At school I would fall asleep during periods, not hear a thing from the teacher in front, and that meant only one thing, *more work loads and sleepless nights*.

My siblings and I share a room, inside there’s a double bed that the three of them share, I sleep on the floor using a mattress that I neatly fold and push under the bed in the mornings.

With regards to my parents, my mother is an unemployed woman, she works as a domestic worker for only two days in a week-Monday and Thursday- she’s not a quitter, everyday she tries her best to bring bread to the table, she recently opened a vetkoek business at a corner near First park at Alex. She is my pillar of strength, she had supported me through my whole life till now. My father is a long-distance truck driver, he delivers goods from Johannesburg to different provinces around SA, he only works at night and therefore spends most of his nights on the road and comes back tired in the afternoon.

SSB high school has done a lot for me, being in the top five has given me the courage and drive to do good upon me and others. Being given the chance of being a prefect I had learnt a lot about leadership one of which is  that a leader is the one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way and that great leaders don’t tell you what to do ‘they show you how it’s done’.

The Alexandra township is flooded with people and poverty, and most of those people are the young generation of today. Today we are tempted easily, peer pressure with bad consequences has taken over, students are back chatting to teachers and parents for the sake of impressing their peers. In each and every first Saturday in a month there are trips organised by the members of different teenage groups-in the event children drown themselves with alcohol and cigarettes- this has become a trend and by it continuing it keeps on ruining bright futures of our future leaders everyday.

Without AEC and SSB high school I don’t know where I would have been. Before AEC and high school I was circulated by a negative energy, I used to gamble ,spin the coin ,play marbles and cards for entertainment, my friends used to smoke but thank god I was a bit assertive then and I was not tempted to try, my primary Maths teacher ma’am Nyangane  at the end of year in grade seven noticed my habits and she invited  my parents to a private meeting discussing my case. She saw that I was capable of doing better than I did, I was deep in trouble with my parents but I thank her a lot because without her I wouldn’t have changed.