This is how we rebuilt our lives from scratch

This is how we rebuilt our lives from scratch

These three individuals each started their lives with no support, but relentlessly pursued their path to success.

Three lives rebuilt
Beautiful News

Some people are born lucky. Their lives are prepped for success from the start. But La-eequah Jansen, Adnan Al Mouselli, and Samkelo Mdolomba had to build their paths from scratch. Even when their obstacles seemed insurmountable, they relentlessly pursued triumph over adversity. 

La-eequah Jansen was born in Manenberg, Cape Town, a neighbourhood known for its gangsterism. A keen sprinter, the young girl ran the streets barefoot. However, she wasn’t just running away from danger, but towards victory. When she was 12 years old, Jansen shined in both 100 and 150-metre races, earning her the nickname ‘Zola Budd’ after the barefoot Olympian. She went on to represent the Western Province in both events, and was eventually donated a pair of running shoes. But it’s her fierce resilience that propels her toward the light at the end of the tunnel. “I will always run,” Jansen says. “It’s my way out.” While her talent grew from the cracks of broken roads, she continues to rise above her circumstances. 

Adnan Al Mouselli had to break free of his home country Syria. Escaping to South Africa, he sold fruit and vegetables on the side of the road to survive. But although he was safe, he still felt adrift. “I had nothing and no one,” Al Mouselli says. “It broke my heart to leave my whole life behind.” Yet, he was still determined to make something of himself. Using his savings, Al Mouselli studied interior design. Through this, he discovered not only his calling, but where he belonged. “What was once a foreign land to me has now become my home,” Al Mouselli says. “Today my life is filled with beauty.”

In high school, Samkelo Mdolomba lost his way as he used drugs and alcohol. “I was exposed to the bad things of society at a very young age,” he says. Mdolomba later found himself involved in an armed robbery and was sentenced to 10 weeks in juvenile detention. But his time spent in custody redirected his perspective and he began focusing on what he loved – singing. After finding his voice at 19 years old and forming an a capella group, Mdolomba has been making a name for himself ever since. Today, he’s a successful songwriter and musician known as Samthing Soweto. “At the time when I was choosing music, I didn’t realise I was saving my life,” Mdolomba says. 

Channeling their determination, Jansen, Mouselli, and Mdolomba each created a better life for themselves. Even when it seems we have nothing, we always have the chance to start again.

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