Mncedisi Nkosi is more commonly known by his friends as Fortune. He is a teenager growing up in one of the poorest communities in South Africa. His story shows how a life can be transformed when people give what they can to the most vulnerable.
I am Mncedisi Nkosi and I am 16 years old. I was born in a small South African community where I have lived my whole life. I have a sister, Siphokazi, 6, in grade 1, and a brother, Khanyiso, 13, in grade 8. I am in grade 11 and I especially enjoy mathematics. We stay with my grandma, Ester, who has been caring for us since our mother died. I’ve never known my father.
I remember the day my life was rocked. It was November 23, 2006. I had left my mum at home that morning. She had been sick, but I felt comfortable leaving her as I thought she was recovering and getting stronger. The news I heard when I returned that day pierced my heart and the words “hospital” and “dead” echoed in my head. My body went numb. I wished I was dead too. The reality of losing my mother was too much for me to bear. I started withdrawing and having difficulties in school.
Thankfully, I already knew God during this time and felt He was always with me. He showed me love through the people He put in my life like my grandma and my Care Worker, Lillian. With time, I realised that my life was worth living to the full and joy and laughter returned.
People would describe me now as outgoing and social. I have been cared for by Senzokuhle Community Based Organisation for the past five years and have recently become a leader with the Youth Program there. I love singing and dancing and am actively involved with leading our worship times. I’m so glad I get to eat and spend time with my friends every day at the Care Point but it’s the visits from Lillian that have made the biggest difference to me. I feel cared for and know that my grandmother also feels supported in raising me and my siblings.
When I am not involved with school and the Youth Program, I am working on my own business: wedding planning and video making. I feel I have a great drive and someday wish to be a businessman in Canada, America, or England. It’s hard to believe I once wanted to end my life and although my mother will never be replaced, I am thankful for the people God has placed in my life to encourage me and help me to dream!
We thank God for knowing Fortune by name and bringing hope into his life after experiencing tragedy as a child. We thank our Father for the Care Workers like Lillian who have given their love to Fortune, becoming like parents to him. We thank Him for those who have given financial support, generously, so this young man can access education, basic health care, and food security. Jesus says, “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). If you would like to give to support a child such as Fortune, learn more here.