On one morning, the boys were packing their mats after sleeping on cold pavements. To chase away the cold they lit a fire. Among the group of boys was Magozwe. He was the youngest.
He did not give Magozwe enough food. He made the boy do a lot of hard work.
When Magozwe asked if he could go to school, his uncle beat him and said, "You're too stupid to learn anything."
After three years of this treatment Magozwe ran away from his uncle. He started living on the street.
When they were sick, there was no one to help. The boys survived from begging, and selling plastics and other recycling.
Every day after that he would take out the book and look at the pictures. He did not know how to read the words.
Sometimes, he imagined that he was the boy in the story.
Thomas pointed to a house nearby. "I hope you will go there to get some food?" he asked.
Magozwe looked at the man, and then at the house. "Maybe," he said, and walked away.
Thomas listened to the stories of people's lives. He was patient and respectful. Some of the boys started going to the yellow house to get food.
"What is the story about?" asked Thomas. "It's about a boy who becomes a pilot," replied Magozwe.
"What's the boy's name?" asked Thomas. "I don't know, I can't read," said Magozwe.
Thomas didn't talk a lot, and he didn't tell Magozwe what to do, but he always listened carefully.
Thomas read that story to Magozwe many times, until one day he said, "I think it's time you went to school and learned to read. What do you think?"
Thomas explained that he knew of a place where children could stay, and go to school.
What if his uncle was right and he was too stupid to learn anything? What if they beat him at this new place?
He was afraid. "Maybe it is better to stay living on the street," he thought.
Along with Auntie Cissy and her husband, three dogs, a cat, and an old goat.
But he thought about the pilot and the soccer player in the storybooks. Like them, he did not give up.
Thomas came up and sat next to him. "What is the story about?" asked Thomas. "It's about a boy who becomes a teacher," replied Magozwe.
"What's the boy's name?" asked Thomas. "His name is Magozwe," said Magozwe with a smile.
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