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Hitting The Restart Button
Hitting The Restart Button
Rethabile Lechela Founded Beautiful Scar, A Platform Where Ordinary People Can Share Inspirational Real-life Stories Of Hope
Nolwazi Dhlamini

The suicide rate in South Africa is alarming. According to the World Health Organisation, about 800 000 people take their own lives every year, with our country recording the sixth-highest rate of suicide in Africa. What these figures also show is that life is incredibly difficult for many people, which is why I started Beautiful Scar, a safe space where people can talk freely about their hardships. I know first-hand the realities of a hard-knock life, from being homeless to losing my mom and being a divorcee by 28, resulting in me trying to take my own life.

When I was 10, my father was retrenched and our house was repossessed. Imagine being told as a child that the home my younger siblings and I had known all our lives was no longer ours. That we’d soon have to say goodbye to our garden that we played in on long summer afternoons and move into a cramped, one-room space. Following the retrenchment, we moved into our neighbour’s garage for a short while; thereafter we moved between short-term rentals. The most difficult part was filling in forms that required one’s address; it was a painful reminder that we didn’t know where we’d live next.

It was an incredibly difficult time, but it would have been even worse if it hadn’t been for our wonderful parents, who ensured love became our home. My dad made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. I was a chubby girl, but he instilled in me confidence that I would be a supermodel. He also told me I had the best voice in the world and that I’d win Jam Alley one day!

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November 2019