MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Ntsako Thabo Baloyi
Comments: 0
Article views: 619

Why I'm grateful to my high school tormentor

09 February 2018, 11:56

Several weeks ago, in a bid to numb the agony of working during the festive season, my colleagues and I exchanged high school anecdotes – the subject was impelled by those animated back-to-school advertisements which tend to invade our screens this time of year.

My one co-worker recalled how she was often labelled a “coconut”, a term I’m all too familiar with myself, and how one classmate poked fun at her name. Another colleague also gave her account, which seemed just as memorable enough to put a smile on her face.

This prompted me to page back to my high school days, which were mainly characterised by anxiety along with a sense of will which I suppose culminated in my character and life today. I also pondered on whether this was the perfect subject to focus on, but eventually figured that most people reading this have been to high school and that there would at least be a minimal degree of relation to it, regardless of how high or low you sat on the school popularity chart.

His name was Victor and he often swaggered around the corridors with his backpack sluggishly hanging over his broad shoulders and his sagging grey pants, while the rest of us would flash to our respective classes. He made the occasional trip to the principal’s office over disruption and several other violations which were added to his charge sheet.

“I’m not sure if that guy is gay or just has a screw loose”, he said once to someone he was standing with by the Math class, referring to me, which was followed by an ear-piercing burst of laughter which I could hear from a distance. Still – I made the few steps to Miss Fourie, our English teacher’s class.

From then on, I made it a point never to bat an eyelid whenever he opened his mouth, in the hopes that he would eventually retire his hostility badge and find someone else to subject to his slurs – my was I wrong. If anything, he became more aggressive and his comments only became viler, almost as If he wanted me to respond. Victor had gained a reputation of being a savage street fighter, which no doubt fuelled his arrogance and feeling of invincibility and didn’t exactly make me fear him any less. While he didn’t have silky blonde hair and drive a sports car, he certainly was my Regina George.

While I countenanced his antagonism on a daily basis, I gradually became numb to it and it eventually filtered down to all other bullying tactics my other classmates had imposed on me. I came to realise that self-verbalising the foul rhetoric of my detractors would be playing right into their hands, an in one form or another, adding weight to an otherwise weightless remark – silence is golden – that has always been my motto. This is not to suggest that bullying victims must purely accept defeat and allow themselves to be the ridiculed, if anything, it’s to say we have more control than we give ourselves credit.

If I saw Victor today, more than 8 years later, I’d most probably buy him a beer to thank him for indirectly bestowing upon me, the ability to forge ahead and continue with my daily on goings regardless of encounters which may attempt to hamper them.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.


Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Chabana Chabana
Automation disruption heading for...

There is no denying that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is going to disrupt many industries with innovation an introduction of artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles/drones and biotechnology among others. Will SA be prepared? Read more...

0 comments 778 views
Submitted by
Confidence Seleme
Who's writing your life story?

Just because someone suddenly feels inferior or intimidated because of your progress, it doesn’t mean you must stop progressing. You cannot let someone else write your story for you.  Read more...

0 comments 154 views
Submitted by
Narike Lintvelt
Surviving Metrorail's 'Amazing Ra...

Over the past three weeks I have spent anywhere from three to five hours per day commuting; every day like an Amazing Race challenge to get to work and get home. Read more...

0 comments 753 views
Submitted by
Reginald Nkadimeng
AfriForum has ulterior motive in ...

I think AfriForum is motivated by extreme prejudice in launching this particular case against Julius Malema. Read more...

0 comments 886 views
Submitted by
Sifiso Mkhonto
Black tax: a responsibility, not ...

Many young black professionals are faced with the pressure to redress the legacy of apartheid through black tax. This is their privilege and should not be seen as a burden. Read more...

0 comments 374 views
Bantu education in a post-aparthe...

One of the legacies of apartheid that continues to haunt the black people of South Africa is the legacy of the Bantu Education system. Read more...

0 comments 3190 views


RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2018 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.