Submitted by: Siya Adam  “My name is Siyamthanda Adam. I am known as Siya. I love to smile. I am always smiling. Some people wonder if I ever get sad, if I ever cry. I am always smiling. I believe a smile can brighten somebody’s day. A smile can sometimes heal a broken heart. I just love to smile. However, this smile of mine has been tested a couple of times. This smile of mine would sometimes disappear, and a river of tears would begin to flow. This smile of mine would disappear and anger would take its place, sadness, confusion, suicidal thoughts would strike my mind. Allow me to tell you my story. I was born with cerebral palsy. The doctor said I was not expected to live beyond 18 years of age. Well, that doctor was wrong. I am still here today, aged 23 years.” Life at school was very difficult with her mental and physical handicaps; she was slower on both counts. She became the brunt of the children’s teasing and taunts.  Adolescence was a nightmare.  As was home with a father who abused her mother.  Still, she was heart-broken when he died when she was 14.  She had always hoped he would change. “When I was a teenager, I struggled with suicidal thoughts.  I thought ending my life would be a good idea.  I just wanted a break.” But her life had its sunshine moments. “At high school, I got the opportunity to do some of the things I loved.  I got to play drums.  Play chess and hockey.  I did public speaking.”  These activities gave her hope. “Now, I just love to write poetry.  I love to encourage people through my writing.”   And what are her dreams for the future?  Siya is studying for a Diploma in Marketing through UNISA.  #ImStaying salutes you, Siya, for your courage and determination, and your desire to inspire and bring joy to others.

 She has triumphed over what life threw at her. A fighter. Still here.

Helping others to keep going. Today she can smile. 


Edited By:  Val Bruce