Martinus from Hillbrow living on the streets of Cape Town

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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.

What happened?
With the destruction of the world I still have my self confidence.

Tell me about what happened, the destruction of your world? (If you see it like that)
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 try 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 modeling at 16?
Yes I got confirmation I should be modeling 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 live. 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.

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