Liyabona Diphu – The Future We Want

We cannot survive without clean water,  writes Liyabona Diphu, a Grade 8 learner from Mpame Junior Secondary School in the Nqakakanga area of the Wild Coast.

Everything changed so suddenly when Covid-19 started. Life became difficult and everything changed. Government is trying to help people, but for us in the rural areas, we do not see this help.  We do not have electricity. We do not have access to the internet so that we can be able to study online while we are not going to school.  And yes, we are not ready to go to school because our schools are not 100% prepared to fight Covid-19. Schools closed as if they will be opening soon but it did not happen. There are not enough resources at our school, even for those who are attending like grade 7 and 12.  They are not even attending school as they feel unsafe.

Deaths and job losses

We had to stop visiting our relative and friends.  Shops and offices were also closed because of pandemic.

People were dying – family members, friends and teachers. Some of our parents, brothers and sisters have lost their jobs during Covid-19. It is very painful.

Regulations ignored

Some people do not want to obey the rules of the government about this pandemic.  They do not want to wear masks.

They do not wash there hands often and they do not drink water regularly.  The worst thing though is that they do not want to stay at home at all.  People are going to church in large numbers as well as attend meetings in large numbers without wearing their masks.

I wish everyone can obey the rules in order to limit the spreading of the virus.

Water desperately needed

Government should care for those living in rural areas by supplying water and make sure there is water in our taps every day.  Water is the first thing we cannot survive without.  Government must also supply food parcels, and not just to a few people.

They should also make sure that everyone who is not working receives a (welfare) grant of not less than R1000 a month.

I hope that at the end, we will win.  I do not know when, but I cannot wait to see the world returning to a normal world, where everyone will go to work and to school.  And I hope that everyone learns to respect Covid by obeying the rules so that the rising number (of infections) can decrease. If everyone respects the law, there will be not be so many people affected. – Liyabonga Diphu, Mpame Junior Secondary School.

  •  This is a slightly edited and revised version of Liyabona’s entry to Roving Reporters, Life After Covid-19: The Future We Want story writing competition. Click here to read more shortlisted entries submitted by various schools in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. 

For adjudicators’ reference: Entrant 27_Liyabona Diphu



Image courtesy

After the Covid-19 pandemic, will everything return to how it was before – or will we change how we live in the future? Will we realise the need to make this world a better place, both for people and for nature?

These are the key questions in Roving Reporters’ journalism-themed writing project, Life After Covid-19 – The Future We Want, catering the school learners in South Africa from from Grade 7 upwards.

The competition forms part of a broader reporting project supported by Super Save and Media Development and Diversity Agency.

“We are encouraging high school children to document their experiences of the pandemic and reflect on how they would like to see the world change for the better,” said Roving Reporters director Fred Kockott. “Reflection is a first step to change, and this project gives learners a voice and an opportunity to have some agency in how their future unfolds.”

We plan to run the competition through to the end of the school year, with a top entry published every fortnight.

Schools that wish to submit entries should click here to access the entry forms and writing guide to share with learners who wish to take part.

We encourage schools to use the writing exercise in ways that fit in with the Life Sciences, Life Orientation and English curricula.

For further information contact Fred Kockott on 083 277 8907 or email

Now read: Pandemic poet chimes with the times: We fell asleep in one world and awoke in another