Girl’s poem on bullying grows into notable book
Makhanda pupil feels it was a character-building phase in her life
A 15-year-old high school pupil from Makhanda, who was bullied in primary school, has turned her pain to paper and written a book titled The Bleeding.
Khazimla Titi, now a Grade 9 pupil at Thembalabantu High School in Ginsberg, launched her book at the Steve Biko Arts Centre on Wednesday.
The young author’s book was published by Memezela Press Publishing Organisation with the assistance of the office of Eastern Cape premier Phumulo Masualle.
What began as a poem to express the pain that comes with bullying has now turned into a 93-page book.
“I wrote a poem about this whole situation, and my mom took the poem and showed her friend. My mom’s friend gave us the idea of turning it into a book that could change people’s lives.”
In the book, Khazimla tells how a person she thought was a friend tormented her at school and caused her to have sleepless nights. “School became an emotional prison. I could not sleep, I would cry all the time. She would call me names and told me to do things I did not want to do,” she said.
“One time she stole my calculator from me just before an exam and it was only by God’s grace that I was able to complete the exam and pass with a higher result. She also started a WhatsApp chat group where she would post pictures of me and ridicule me on the group.”
But Khazimla describes the bullying, which went on for three years, as a character-building phase in her life; a moment that gave her the strength to encourage other young people in her position to hold on and not give up.
“I have forgiven her now because that experience taught me that sometimes you have to lose to win. Her bullying changed my life. Now I see things differently. I know that I can teach other children that bullying happens but if someone bullies you, it does not mean that it is the end of the world for you.
“You can be a better person and fight bullying. I dedicate ’The Bleeding’ to my number one supporter, my mother Nomsa Titi. She continues to give me the best education. She is my strength, my pride and my joy,” she said.
Premier’s office chief of staff, Nandi Sikutshwa, said the office was excited to support the meaningful project.
“There are so many situations that schools face where children bully each other to the extent of killing each other. The premier has a keen interest in supporting this project.
“Working closely with the disability sector, he fell in love with projects that the youth took on.
“He supports projects where youths start something by themselves and to assist people who are driven already. In this particular instance, the premier liked the fact that Khazimla is a young girl who actively found ways to deal with her experience of bullying.”..