Lebohang 23

‘I got burnt when I was thirteen years old. There was a new casino opening at Lourier Park, Bloemfontein, near where I lived. There were three of us who wanted to go and see the new place. One of the boys I was with was playing with matches. The building was still under construction and there was felt on the ground. He dropped a match and the felt caught alight. The fire started growing and we panicked. I tried to put it out. I saw a two litre bottle of what I thought was water, so kicked it at the fire. It turned out to be paraffin. The others ran away and tried to find my mum, and I was just spinning trying to get the fire from my legs, by ripping of my trousers, but they had stuck to my legs. I was taken to Pelenomi Hospital and spent six months there. They said I had 80% burns and they had to take skin from my upper legs to graft on the lower bits. I suffered lots of discrimination and name calling at school. Some time after a social worker from the hospital put me in touch with the Children of Fire charity.’



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