This is Gladys, 6 years old, from Malawi. She’s now living in South Africa with her mum and dad in the township of Smutsville. Her dream is to become Beyoncé!
We got her a nice sparkly outfit and headed to a beauty parlor housed in a container, run by the two ladies Precious and Peace from Ghana. The small space was full of friends, family and curious by-passers. African TV series playing loud on the TV and Jesus looking down on us from a big poster on the wall.
After a few hours of hard pulling of hair into braids, a big needle stitching in long strands of hair extensions and a razor blade used to trim eyebrows, the two ladies looked at the half teary, but happy Gladys and said ‘done, beautiful!’
We went back to her home, a 4 by 4 meters wooden construction with a bicycle chain to keep burglars out. Most of the space filled by a big bed for the whole family to sleep in and the rest of the room taken up by all sorts of bric-à-brac and other things that could some day be useful. Most importantly a TV connected to two parabolic antennas, something everyone staying in this area make sure to get, first thing. MTV and to try become famous is very important.
We turned the speaker up loud and played Beyonce’s ‘Halo’ for the whole neighborhood while Gladys danced happily in front of her gate, feeling just like the girl in her dreams.
Submitted by Emma Vintang in South Africa firstname.lastname@example.org
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