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Linamandla, Age 11, Phillipi, Cape Town

Life as we know it has taken a turn for the worst. The virus does not discriminate. Rich, poor, black or white, we are equally affected. The virus is extremely dangerous and it may lead to a loss of life in some cases. So, our President has encouraged us to practice personal hygiene, wash hands, not touch the face without sanitising, social distancing and to self-isolate when experiencing COVID19 symptoms.

I live in a one room shack with my unemployed mother in the informal township of Phillipi in Cape Town. We survive mainly on my social grant. Fortunately, the president increased the grant by R500 so we are able to buy food that lasts for a month. Besides all of this we’ve been staying indoors and keeping ourselves isolated.

To me, LIGHT COURAGE ACTION means we need to stand up and be counted. We need to do the right thing at all times. We need to educate other children to wear masks and stay at home. I have led by example by staying at home all the time. I always encourage the kids wandering around in my community to stay indoors. Our actions must give goodness, courage and positivity to the world.

This lockdown has given me time to sharpen my writing skills. So far I have written five educational books for children. Two of them talk about the challenges that are faced by children. The others educate children about Corona. I wish I can share them with the world.

I am grateful to my after-school coaches who send me messages of encouragement. They tell me to keep writing because one day someone will recognise my talent. I also thank Grandpa Tutu for staying at home and leading by example. This pandemic taught me that we can work together even if we are apart. We can work together and save lives by following the lockdown rules. And most importantly, wearing masks all the time.

I am proud that I am part of a generation of young people that will do everything to defeat this virus. I am proud to be African!

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