Cape Town - Despite losing his mom at seven years old and later being abandoned by his father, an Athlone teen is defying the odds by raising himself.
The 18-year-old boy, who is currently in matric says nothing, not even being left to survive on R2500 a month, can stop him from achieving his dream of opening a bakery.
The boy, who asked to remain anonymous, says he has been living on his own since November last year after his 70-year-old grandma died in a car accident.
Ever since then, he’s been looking after himself.
“My mommy died when I was seven because she was sick and then my daddy left,” he says.
“My grandma raised me using her Sassa pension and taught me everything I know about budgets.
“In November last year she was walking to Vangate Mall and got knocked by a car and died.”
Each month he gets R2500 from a trust fund his mother left for him.
“At the end of the month I first pay my burial policy. Then I buy electricity, food and pay for my school transports.
“My auntie helps me sometimes with food. My school fees are paid upfront by the trust and if I need clothes, I must make an application.
“Sometimes if I have some money left then I treat myself to a movie, but I have a strict budget,” he adds.
The teen says he is not bang to sleep on his own as he is supported by his friendly neighbours.
Residents are now rallying to send him to his matric ball.
One neighbour said: “I told him, no man, your ouma would have wanted you to celebrate your big year. But the money he gets won’t be enough for a suit and car.
“The ticket is R1200 for him and a partner. We agreed to jump in and are calling for more help.”
Another neighbour adds: “He is shy and doesn’t have a girlfriend, so my daughter is gonna go with him and now we must get a dress and so on. The children and adults here all look up to him for doing all of this on his own.”
The teen has applied to do a business degree at UWC next year and plans to open a bakery.
“I love making biscuits and fridge tart. Some of the recipes are my ouma’s, some are mine and some are in my head.
“I don’t know if the trust will fund my studies, but I know in two years’ time I will no longer get funds.
“But it won’t stop me. I will achieve my dream of having an international bakery.”
Anyone who would like to help can call Natasha on 082 522 0714.