/ 21 April 2005

“He won’t go to school”

Mohlomi Dintsho, is a youngster with no faith in life and little hope in his future.The 15-year-old from Freedom Park in Gauteng prefers to stay home, smoke dagga and sniff glue, rather than go to school. He dropped out of school when he was 13 years old in Grade 6.Mohlomi and his sister were orphaned three years ago when their mother died after a long illness. ‘Nobody knows who their father is or if it’s the same person who fathered them both. They were left alone, which is why I had to come here to live with them,” his grandmother Amanda Montsho says.

No amount of persuasion from his relatives has managed to motivate him, says his grandmother. ‘When I failed to get him to go to school, I asked my son – his uncle – to talk to him. We tried every thing within our means. My son even beat him, but it did not help,” Montsho says.

Speaking with very little conviction, Montsho says he wants to go back to school and be a police officer when he grows up.

But he claims that he stopped going to school after a fight in which he hit his classmate over the head with a bottle of beer. ‘I was afraid everyone at school would find out about the fight,” he says, adding that teachers would victimise him, whilst other learners would not want to be associated with him.

His grandmother, meanwhile, has given up on him. ‘What can I do? I have tried to give him education. Not even once has he gone to school without pocket money. Until such time that he really wants a good life for himself, there is nothing anybody can do for him,” she says.