Ndalo Hlatshwayo

My name is Ndalo Hlatshwayo and I’m an 18 year old matric student. I was born in Jo’burg and lived there most of my life until last year when I moved 2 Richards Bay 2 live with my dad. I guess I could call that move a blessing in disguise because if I hadn’t moved to Richards Bay,I wouldn’t have found out that I have cancer.

When I was diagnosed I had no idea that I would go through all the changes I went through. From all my experiences I’ve learn t that u can achieve a lot with a positive mindset and attitude. When times get hard, I always remember the scripture, Luke 1:37, ” For there is nothing impossible with God”. My doctor and teachers told me to take a break from school and return when I was cured. I was even told that if I carried on with school I wouldn’t pass the year. Despite everything, I passed the year with excellent results. It wasn’t easy. I had to take days off school 2 get treatment and to recover until I was well enough 2 write my exams but I overcame those obstacles.  My will power came 4rm the determination to prove everyone wrong and to prove to myself that I was bigger than my situation. If you know where you want to go, nothing can stop u from ultimately getting there.

As teenagers, I know we are faced with many challenges and there are lots of decisions to be made. The issues all differ from school to friends, behavior, our futures nd most importantly, family. As a young person, u need to know who u are and who you want to be. I’m a normal teenager who enjoys having fun like all teenagers. I wouldn’t even call myself the perfect child but there are times when I stand my ground and refuse conform to some things. You need to know when to stand firm and fight for what you believe in. Being different from the crowd makes you stand out. The sacrifices and decisions you make now will determine the type of person you will be.

I know that matrics are faced with a lot this year. There is pressure from everyone to excel academically and there is also the stress of making decisions about our future. I would know this because I’ve changed my career about 4 times this year and I still had to focus on my studies at the same time. We have a quote that we use at school that says “The best way to eat an elephant is to eat it one piece at a time”. Life is a big elephant and the best away to get through it is to deal with situations as they come- one step at a time.

I’m going through treatment for the second time and I can honestly say that this is the worst time of my life. Through all the pain, I’ve learn t a lot about myself and my perspective has changed so much on life. I thought I would finish school this year but I am now only doing half of my subjects this year and I’m only matriculating next year. I’ve lost my hair, my appearance has changed, I’m constantly in hospital and I can no longer live the life I lived before. Sometimes bad things happen so that good things can come from them. The Lord says I know the plans I have for u. Plans to prosper you and not to hurt you. You may not understand why you are going through something but you need u have the faith that you’ll have the strength to get through it.

If you start with the end in mind nothing can stand in the way of you achieving your goals. Greater is he that’s in you than the one that is in the world. You were destined for great things so love yourself nd respect people around u. As you venture into life , I want you to remember that you u are wonderfully and fearfully made. Respect yourselves and others around u. Goodluck for the rest of the year with your studies.

Thank you