I burnt my hair while I was drunk
In an effort to escape the pain of losing her mother and the emptiness she felt inside, Thulisile moved to Johannesburg leaving her own daughter at home to be raised by her grandmother.
"I didn’t know anyone in Johannesburg or have money for the taxi. I explained my money problem to the driver and he was kind enough to let me travel without paying. I walked around the streets of Johannesburg until I met a lady who offered me accommodation and a job as a domestic worker," she said.
Thulisile later made friends who took her to taverns where they drank alcohol.
"I soon became a regular at one of the local taverns and I was offered a job as a cleaner there. I left my job and found my own place to stay. After the owner of the tavern was shot dead, the place was shut down. I was then left without a job and one of my friends suggested that we rob prostitutes of their money. We knew their spots and we waited for them in the dark, took their bags and ran away. I sent some of that money back home for my child," she said.
Thulisile recalled a day that shook her and prompted her to give up drinking.
"One morning, I woke up with part of my hair burnt. When I asked the people I lived with, they told me I had been too drunk and fell on the heater. Since then I thought of stopping my drinking, but I didn’t know how. That same day members of the Universal Church invited me to the church. I took that as a sign that I needed to build a relationship with God. I attended the services on Fridays and asked God to give me strength to resist alcohol. I never drank alcohol again since that day. I now have the presence of God in me to direct my paths," she said.