Home – Africa

Luis Dos Santos - Hudson, Massachusetts
Entered on June 16, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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Luis Dos Santos

April 29, 2008

Reading/Writing Workshop


“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” Nelson Mandela said the most powerful words I have ever read. Our former president spent twenty seven years in prison fighting for what he believes in. I believe in home. I believe that, it is the best place there is in the world. When I think of “South Africa” I don’t think of a poverty-stricken violent country. I think of the beauty, pride and diversity of Africa. I think of the struggle we went through to become equal. I think of how we stood united through the tough times. I think of how the nation progressed from the segregation we have overcome. I believe in Africa because Africa is my home and I believe in Home.

I am fifteen years old, Fourteen of my years were spent coming of age in Johannesburg, South Africa. In Johannesburg, we had a junior school (Grades 0-3), and a senior school (Grades 4-7). I remember when I was 10 years old and starting fourth grade. I was very nervous and excited because I was a “Senior”. This was when soccer was a big part of my life. I arrived the first day, nervous and scared, and I ask to play soccer with a group of kids with a ball. We were all playing and when the ball came to me, a kid a little taller than me hit me in the legs hard. I got up so angry I punched him. After they broke the fight up I looked into Jackie’s face, little did I know, he would later become my closest friend.

This all means a lot to me now because every time I fly back to South Africa, I go and visit my old school. I love walking through the corridors and reminiscing about the time when I was in school at Parkview Senior. My first school fight, my first kiss, my first crush and my first real sleep over came over me in a wave of emotion. Every time I arrive at my other best friend’s house, my friends come running out to embrace me. And just like the old times we play “Play station 2” and soccer. This all is what keeps me going through the day. I think of when I am going to see them again. I am really thankful that I was born and raised in South Africa because now where ever I go, I have an open mind about a different kind of home and things where other people have ignorant thoughts about.

I believe there is no place like home. Where you are from is what you know. Africa is all I know, because it is home. I believe in it because I love Africa and I believe that all people should view their home like I do. After I discovered that home is where the heart is, I felt very homesick. For a while if I heard a song about Africa, I would start bawling my eyes out. I love Akon’s song “Pot Of Gold” because it speaks about how you feel when you want to escape everything else. It’s like that place you have that no one else can get into. In Pot Of Gold, Akon says,

“You soon lose track of which way is up when you’re always being put down

You gotta be strong and do what you feel in your heart

Regardless of who’s around…”. And this is Africa to me. This is what home is.