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The Life Story of Phumza Xhosa

Pumza is 32 years old and is one of three children. She was brought up by her aunt. She speaks iXhosa, Afrikaans and some English and has lived at Includid since 1999. She attended Molenbeek School for learners with special educational needs in Maitland. She was admitted to Alexandra Hospital in March 1994 and then to Includid in November 1999. She has basic literacy and numeracy skills. The whereabouts of her parents are unknown. Phumsa is originally from the Eastern Cape, a small village called Xesi.

Pumza tells his story...
(in her own words)

I came here in Cape Town to do my studies when I was at the age of 17 years old. I lived in Gugulethu with my aunt and cousins. My Aunt named Thandeka got a school for me at Nompumelelo primary school around Gugulethu. My aunt bought a house in a small township called Kanana around Gugulethu. We had to move and stay in Kanana.

At the age of 17 years old, I got raped by one of my neighbours. He came in the morning when he estimated that my aunt has gone to work. He came in my aunt's house and says I must come with him to his car and see his children outside, and then I went to his car. When I was near to his car, he first pushed me in his car and he locked all the doors and drove the car to a place that had no houses and there were a lot of bushes around. He pulled out my pants and underwear off and raped me. He was a strong man, I had to fight with him but I couldn't because he was too heavy for me. I couldn't even eat food the whole day while I was with him. I told him that I want to go home; he said I am not going anywhere.

He decided to bring me back home in the evening when he estimated that my aunt has back from work. He didn't go and drop me where he took me, he had to drop me somewhere I stay. I went home alone and I was extremely sad and scared of my aunt.

When I get home my aunt was very angry for me. She had to hit me with broom sticks and thick wire in a bad way. I ran outside because my body was all over with pains. I couldn't even have time to explain to my aunt what has happened to me. I ran to Rasta's place where they sell fruit and vegetables. Rasta's people kept me on their place and I told them what happened to me. They gave me food to eat and bed with warm blankets to sleep over in their place.

I woke up in the morning and I told them that I am going home. When I get home my aunt's was at home, she couldn't even go to work. She asked me where did I sleep, I told her that I slept at Rasta's place. She called the police to take me back to Rasta's place to find out if I slept in their place.

After all happened to me I felt very sick, my aunt took me to the doctor. The doctor has to check first if I didn't fall pregnant. The doctor found that I was not pregnant and she gave me medication for to stop bleeding. I felt much better after I went to see the doctor.

After sometime I felt scared and didn't like the noisy place. In my mind I was thinking that the man who came to fetch me will come again. I told my aunt how I feel, she organised Social workers to come to me at home to have an assessment with me, they sat down with me and ask more questions to me. I had to explain everything to the social worker's. My aunt told social workers that I am not happy to be around in a noisy place. They organised a quiet place for me so that I can go back to school. That was a big challenge for me to from my place but I had to move because social workers managed to get a place for me to stay and do my studies. My personal situation forced me to drop out. Nompumelelo school is situated in Gugulethu.

I started to attend a school at Molenbeek School that is situated in Maitland, Cape Town. I had to use a public transport although I was scared of taking public transport. I used to wake up in the morning while I was studying in Maitland. I was travelling with a train and it was a big challenge to me. After sometime the social worker organised a place to live in Alexandra Hospital. I had to stay in Alexandra Hospital, I had no choice I was not happy for travelling with a train. I first lived in ward 11. I met Jasmine at Alexandra and we became close friends. Past few years ago the sister from the hospital places me to live at Includid. I first lived at Sunshine then moved to Rainbow house Double Storey house Lighthouse, Alden house then I settled at Garden Cottage house.

I enjoy living at Includid I am free of doing what I like with a right time. While I was new at Includid I took a trip to London and that was a very nice experience for me. I get pay every Friday a week and I do my own savings to buy whatever I like. I enjoy to work and it keeps me busy. I am going out with my boy friend every time I want. It is very nice to live at Includid as compared my previous life at hospital. At hospital I get punished with small things. At Includid I participate in the menu for preparing a supper and also decide what I would like to do for my birthday.

At work I enjoy myself, I achieve different skills and I can do a lot of things on my own.

Phumza's video life story
Pumza, telling us
her life story
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