A 14-year old Limpopo girl has written a book in which she tells the stories of the abuse of young women by people who pretend to be good Samaritans.
Ntiyiso Amukelani, affectionately known as Amu, was single-handedly raised by her mother in a village in Soekmekaar and was confronted by many challenges such as an absent father.
Other girls in the village shared their stories with her.
What touched her the most was the terrifying story of a girl named Jessie who was determined to live a normal life but the adults in her life had other plans.
"She was taken from one home to another but survived each scary episode. She still learnt to forgive and move on with life," Amukelani explained to News24.
The idea of writing the book, titled Life's Journey , came after she realised that many other girls in other countries produced materials on various topics that affect young women.
"Firstly, I did a research and found that kids here in South Africa are not successful like the ones in other countries. So, I asked myself: 'What makes them different from us and why can't we also do what they are doing?'
"I decided to find my talent and I knew I have writing skills, but I asked myself what I am going to write about. So, I remembered the stories of the people around me and I realised that when they face challenges, they don't know what to do.
"So, the idea came to put the stories in the book so I can help them. This is how the book came about. Some of the stories are from my own experiences and some from my friends' experiences.
"It was not easy. But I had support from my family and friends who told me that giving up was not an option. It took me about six months to write it," Amukelani said.
Culture of reading
She is aware that she is young and that she will still face many other hurdles along the way: "I may continue to write other books. I like writing about realities of life."
Asked how she was going to encourage her peers to adopt a culture of reading, she said: "I will tell them that reading gives us knowledge. From reading something, you get knowledge.
"I will also tell them that if I was not into reading books, I wouldn't have written this book."
Amukelani said she would donate part of the proceeds made from the sale of the book to charity to help young girls to grow in a safe environment.
She encouraged young girls to be alert and smart in the face of the challenges of life.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance in Limpopo has indicated that it will donate toward the printing of the book as part of its Youth Month programme.