An internationally recognised Lynn Hill from Grassy Park opens up about her life, hoping to inspire local youth amid the violence in the Cape Flats.She is one of the locals that did not let their circumstances define their destiny and says she has shared her experience with those who “cross my path and cannot afford to pay, or who choose me to be their mentor” on pro-bono basis for 28 years.Hill, who arrived in Grassy Park at the age of nine, sees her upbringing in Grassy Park as a blessing in disguise.“I think this was a blessing in disguise because it prevented me from becoming over-attached to the stereotypical, limiting beliefs and expectations associated with the Cape Flats,” she says.“The Cape Flats then was not the Cape Flats now, there was gang activity but gangsterism was not a way of life. Ubuntu could be more experienced. The Cape Flats today brings to mind that democracy and responsible citizenship was never fully understood and individuals were never empowered. People need to know that their lives matter,” says Hill.She says there was a “degree” of safety at some point.Hill believes that the government never took the required accountability to address unemployment and youth development on the Cape Flats neither did it adequately address corruption within the police force.“It is this corruption that has endorsed lawlessness,” says Hill.She says the situation and pain should not make them hopeless but instead they should see through the lens of a “victor rather than a victim”.Hill says one better focus on equipping themselves with education. She says mindset is critical to success. There is a misconception that things need to get better before you can become better.She is talking from experience as she was directly affected by violence at the age of 15. She was raped in the Cape Flats. She buried herself in her school books for a year as she was unable to emotionally process the depth of the violation.“I believe that I would never have allowed this to become a determining factor in the pursuit or non-pursuit of my destiny, if the rape could not do this, a neighbourhood certainly too was incapable of aborting my dreams,” says Hill.