I am told this man used to be a model now he lives on the streets. A new friend translated, as he bounced between English and Afrikaans.
Tell me your story?
I was a boss model. I was also a billboard model.
With the destruction of the world, I still have my self-confidence.
Tell me about what happened, the destruction of your world?
My parents asked me to show them I could live on my own and look after myself. This is when I was 16. They asked me to forget my age and to try to survive on my own.
Why did they ask that of you at 16?
I was soft spoken, they wanted me to harden up. I was told from the age of 5 that I would live on the streets if I couldn’t look after myself.
Were you modelling at 16?
Yes, I got confirmation I should be modelling at 16.
At what point did you realize you couldn’t make it on your own?
I have been on the streets since I was 16. I know where my parent lives. But I am too scared to go home. My parents are ashamed of me.
I like that you ask me what I used to be, it makes me feel like I used to be important. No one has ever asked me that.
Have your parents ever tried to help?
No, they don’t realize what has happened to me. I still have to make my life no matter my age. This is still a process, the same as when I was 16. Their responsibility ended with school.
I am scared to sleep at night. I don’t have blankets, I sleep on boxes.
Do you have a plan to better your life?
I don’t know how. I am a good person.