By Thabisile Moyo
My name is Thabisile Moyo (27). I am a mother of one. When I was 15 years old, my parents died in a car accident. It was the most difficult time of my life. I was taken in by my maternal grandparents. My grandparents were smallholder farmers and the livelihood was based on farming.
From that early age, I helped my grandparents in their farming operations. It was labour intensive but it was the only way we could generate income. With time, I started to notice that our yields were decreasing. This was being caused by increasing temperatures and low rainfalls which were unpredictable.
My grandparents had no other source of income except from the farming business, hence no other family members could help us. I was forced to become the breadwinner and provide for my grandparents. At that early, I started to engage in sex work to generate income. The money I got from sex work was just enough to cover expenses such as water and electricity bills. My grandparents also required medical assistance.
The climate crisis forced me to drop out of school so that I concentrate on income generation. Before long, I got pregnant. It was the most difficult time for me. Being a mother added to financial challenges I was facing. My lack of climate change information and climate change mitigation strategies contributed to the situation I am now facing. If I had been equipped with mitigation strategies, I could have been able to sustain our farming activities.