Born to lose, Built to win : The Tendai Joe Story

The face of an angel, the heart of a lion Champion spirit, blessed with the will of surviving - Maino

Marvel at just seeing a rose growing through concrete? So way is it when you see some ghetto kid grow out of some dirtiest circumstances and he can talk and he can sit across the room and make you cry, make you laugh. All you can talk about is my dirty rose, my dirty stems and how I m leaning crooked to the side, you cant even see that I have come out of that! - Tupac

Trail of Hope Foundation (T.H.F) is a registered Section 21 company and non-profit organization based in Pretoria, South Africa that empowers orphaned and vulnerable children to develop critical consciousness within their context of living. It was founded by Tendai Sean Joe, a former street child, now an international advocate for disadvantaged children and youths.

Some call him a survivor; some call him the hope in the streets. Tendai Joe, a former street child who went to South Africa in 2005 through the Kruger National Park and landed in a Squatter Camp, where he was greeted with attacks on foreigners in Pretoria West, but with no option, he lived through the trauma even becoming a role model among South African youths where he has been doing life coaching in different high schools.Born in 1982 to Mozambican father and a Zimbabwean mother, Tendai is the fifth in a family of 10.Growing up in a farm setting, the family life took a nose dive when his father was transferred to an Urban area, Chegutu just before the 1992 drought. With a mother who was an informal trader and now faced with no supplementary income as the farm market was gone, coupled inexperience of the new cost of living challenges urban life was apparently a burden to the family. On weekends and school holidays, Tendai and brothers would sell wire toys or pick cotton at a nearby farm, before things became worse and it was a norm not to have food on the table and with none to turn to, scavenging became the norm, shameful as it was, the society was not even that accommodating and
with talk of sending Tendai and his brother Tawanda to a juvenile institute, the two landed in the streets. Life was never that easy in the streets, as everyone saw a criminal element in every street child. It was a struggle, with young Tendai was fast becoming a criminal, mentored by older friends in the streets. The dream was to go back
home and live a normal life, going back to Primary School but reintegration was a far fetched dream for young Tendai and brother.

However two incidents drove Tendai back home, that was after almost 5 years in the streets of Chegutu,
Zimbabwe. Tendai was bullied at school and lost tooth in the process and with no access to a psychologist the anger in young Tendai was bottled. In 1995 the
family relocated to a rural area near Mozambique, where young Tendai and brothers once again got Malaria but were lucky to get the vaccine. Tendai was informally adopted by a teaching couple in 1998 .On the 25th February 2000, Tendai once again became a victim of Cyclone Eline when the bus he was traveling with from school and visiting his real family plunged into a flooding river. Tendai completed and passed his High School Ordinary level in 2001 but failed to get a scholarship, which left young Tendai stressed before he drowned into
depression. Tendai had no one to share all the hardships with at the time when a counselor or psychologist was desperately needed and the only way out for him was suicide, but he managed to look beyond the pains.

However, today Tendai is a streets activist, legal in South Africa, who has had a chance to work with some high profile individuals.
Godwin Mungwadzi

twitterinstagramStandup guy never known for sitting around

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