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Thuleka Mrulekana, 40

Married mother of four: 20, 17, 13 & 7

Lives in Khayelitsha, Cape Town

My life was upside down because I have four children and my husband didn’t work very well. I was selling chips and chicken feet but I took all that money to buy food. My children didn’t suffer like in others’ houses, but my life was upside down.

Now I have joy, I have hope. I love to sing and talk to women. There are so many women losing hope. I say: ‘Don’t lose hope. Pick up your socks, you can do anything that you want in your life.’ Every person has a dream but there are so many obstacles that are bringing that dream down. I try to bring self-esteem.

It’s important to have my children with me. Don’t take your child to your grandmother because there are so many things that happen there that you don’t see. Things that hurt your children and anger them. I want to tell women that you can stay with your child, I know, I’m talking with experience. Even when the things are not happening right in my life - I stay with my children.