When you end up in a place because of a childhood fantasy, you just gotta tell the story.

I’m not from here. I also am not from where you think you know I’m from. I’m from way up north when it was still the Transvaal. A place where I jokingly say hell is right underneath because it is so damn hot there.

The first almost 8 years of my life we lived on a farm 60km from Ellisras near Stockpoort border post. I went to the same primary school my dad, all his siblings and my sister went to – right across from the highschool my mother was a teacher at.

Then we moved to a farm just outside of Duiwelskloof and Tzaneen. I matriculated at Ben Vorster and then I moved to my Jozi.

…but wait, I’m skipping the story of why I ended up in Jozi.

My mom is from an area called Rikasrus just outside Randfontein. My grandparents lived in a smallholding in a double story home they built. We would visit every holiday and the whole family always seemed to be there.

They had a lot of kids who in turn had kids and somehow we all fitted around an extra long dining table. 5 children had 10 children between them (at that stage). All hands had to be there to peel peaches on holidays… and I still love peaches. Breakfast around the dining table was always Weetbix and dinner ended with “huisgodsdiens”.

The younger cousins had to go to bed early but we were allowed to sit in the livingroom on the floor. This is where my obsession began…

A big glass window and door gave me the perfect place to sit and stare out over what I thought was the most magical place in the world that never stopped or slept. The lights in the distance twinkled like little fireflies in different colours. I would sit there just wishing I lived in that place.

I thought it was Johannesburg, but it wasn’t. It was Soweto or Krugersdorp. My magical place was even better when I finally arrived.

I barely had a big suitcase full of clothes when I arrived, but I was determined to live in the biggest city. I knew exactly one person, my godmother and then I made 2 friends and then it became home.

I lost touch with all the people I knew way back then, but now I see the beautiful lights of Jozi from my house and they are more beautiful than when I saw them the first time.

The lights brought me here and kept me here. This is home.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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