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Covid lockdown diary

Updated: May 4, 2020

This is the diary of the lockdown by our learners and students – edited by Sizanani mentorship program

Day 0 (Thursday 26 March)

We went shopping with my Mom at Pan Africa mall. There were long queues outside the groceries shops. Only a certain number of people were allowed to enter, as they were implementing not more than 100 people strategy set by the government. But inside the shops, people were not giving each other space outside in the queues. (anonymous student)

Day 1 (Friday 27 March)

« My mother just passed away this Tuesday. She was sick for 3 days but had heart problems. The Coronavirus has impacted us in a negative way. The funeral home said they will send her body to our home in Eastern Cape when transportation is available. But it seems we cannot attend the funeral, because of travel bans. I lived with my mother only, but I have family my aunt, sister and aunt. I am very sad but have to be strong for the family ». (anonymous student)

« At Extension 9, few people are still roaming around the streets, still sitting in groups and children are still playing. This shows that they haven't started following the rules of the lockdown. The police are trying to help us and I believe it's at our best to also help them achieve the government goal for bitting this virus » (anonymous student)

« Soldiers arrived in Alex around 3 Pm. People were not all indoors because they wanted to see them. Nevertheless, they were chased away and fortunately they didn't have to use rubber bullets ? But I can assure you some have tasted the clap of a soldier» (Gr 12)

«They were told that this is just the start but when they find anyone in the street after 7pm they gonna be in trouble so they will probably start with rubber bullets and all in 8min. People from Alexandra are very disrespectful, I don't know if it is in all the townships (Bulelwa H, gr 20)

Day 2 (Saturday 28 of March)

When we heard about The Corona Virus, South Africans didn't take it seriously . Time went by ...and when we came to know that One South African citizen coming back from Italy was infected , the country started to panic. To be honest...I think that what our country had to do was to keep in isolation all those who travelled with the first person who tested positive. Maybe the virus would not have spread all over the country Each day , the number of cases increased... Some people were relaxef and others panicking😱 . Then the President decided to close the schools early. Some of the learners here at Alex relaxed but us, the matrics, we got very worried and started questioning our principles, and teachers. Days passed and the number of cases increased. Then the President decided to introduce the 21days lockdown. As the soldiers patroled in Alex, people disappeared from the streets. People of Alex think that the soldiers are here to chase them away but not to save them !

Kamogelo Mokhanya, Grade 12

pictures : V. Hirsch

Day 3 (Sunday 29 of March)

The lockdown has been detrimental to most of us,parents had to stop working, school closed. As the lockdown would help flatten the curve, I really feel like we have to obey and help the government . I think it's wise to take this time and reflect on life. I'm sure if we take these 21 days to learn something new ,something you didn't have time for this is the time you can use Primrose, grade 12

photo V.Hirsch

Day 4 (30 March)


Pulveriser of mankind,

Extinguisher of human race,

Born and bred in the lab to vandalize mother earth,

With your insipid manners and ill floating motives.

Threatening lifes you forced us to depend on surgical masks and gloves,

Our lifes rely on plastic and paper.

Trust is nothing but mere word of mouth in communities,

Once we cough or sneeze we repel, Aching throat eliminates us from your loved ones,

Due to incurable disease squashing man rapidly.

I've heard that covid-19 is your mission name,

Your identity is hidden like that one of an undercover agent,

And that you are neither discriminating, judging, choosy nor sexist,

You wreck everything that blocks your way,

From a president to a commoner you draw breath,

What a savage virus you are!

You may scrapple my soul for spewing the truth about you but I'll always be alive in my scrolls,

I truly doubt you'll pay me a visit as long as I breathe,

Because your cousin swine flu came nigh and like foam perished,

Without pointing a finger on me,

Ebola preceeded you and floated from north to south like spring clouds with a blink of an eye,

I wonder what you would do to coerce me to shake in my boots,

Because you and I don't fuse ,like a politician and the truth.

-Thabang Given Lechelele- Grade 11

Thabang with his mentor Bruce Alexander

Day 5 (31 March)


"Lockdown is nice but scary. It gets scary when police and soldiers arrive. It gets noisy and everyone becomes scared because of the treatment received when you are found roaming on the streets. I think the soldiers are on board with their response to people not complying. They are not abusing people but punishing them in a more lawful way. I feel like they are very patient, people here are hardheaded. It’s like they are showing off that they are not scared which is why they do not follow the rules. The police and soldiers are doing their job and I’m ok with what they are doing.

I feel like Alexandra people are ignorant about the virus. Their comments on the pandemic are just silly, as “This is not a black people disease, it only affect the ones with money, it’s for flyers and tourists, it’s only a Chinese disease therefore we are not prone to getting it, you guys with masks are exaggerating”. It is nice at the same time because I get to read, study, watch movies and spend time with my family. I also eat a lot which is a red flag on my health but I’m really enjoying it regardless"

Sthembile Thusi, a student living with her mum in Alex.

"The soldiers are somehow abusing their power because people in Alex live In one room. Imagine 6 people in a shack the whole day ....People who are less priviledged are not able to stay in their homes, not because they don't want to, but because they have no choice...people need space. Even if you are outside alone and not in a crowd, you get in trouble. Soldiers are making our lives hard. They hardly hit people in the suburbs.

The local stores are also not operating in my street. This is supposed to prevent the corona virus spread but now you can't even go out to buy bread".

Thulisile Tshabalala, student

"Grade 12 are affected as some of us don't know how to study on their own. We are being given work to do but some of us don't have phone nor data to get through.

Some of our parents are not working anymore and we don't have food to eat. Luckily, my older brother gave us some cash but this lockdown is affecting us so badly.

If some police finds tuck shops open, they ask for money and threaten to arrest them if they don't get it. Some people they don't have TV to watch news. They always stand outside to hear the news"

Anonymous Gr12

Day 6 (1st April)

CORONAVIRUS, A PIERCING TO OUR HEARTS. When I throw my eyes to the four cardinal points of our planet, I see shame, I see massacre and I see pain in the eyes of people, I see children wailing for their parents, You brought death in their families and left them having no one to look after them, They are left hopeless as you took their hope away from them, Our world has turned into a place of mortal terror, A place filled with the intrusion of various diseases, And a place where humanity is striked with unbearable challenges. OHH AFRICANS, What is to become of us? As I get deeper and deeper into my thoughts, Tears flowing down my cheecks, My heart being vulnerable to pain, Spirit torn into Uncountable pieces, Emotions shuttered, Due to this cure resisting pandemic. CORONAVIRUS, You came into our lives like you own them, You intruded them like you were invited, You led to our goals perishing, Our ambitions deminishing, And our hopes vanishing, Look at the pain that you caused on people, Who exactly do you want to be hankered by? What exactly is your intention with humanity? You've caused a lot of suffering it's enough! We cannot live in timidity forever, Please let your wrath epilogue, Feel for the unprivileged ones, Look at how you got us afflicted by poverty, For how long are you going to put us in this toughest situation? Preventing us from going to school, Preventing us from socializing, And preventing us from reaching the zenith of our goals. Your ego and eager for our lives got you being emphasized in the whole world, You took our lives and made them yours, You acquainted us with a spirit of fear, A spirit of persecution, And a spirit of suicidal thoughts, We are in panic not knowing what to expect from you, Please let your anger come to conclusion, We are still young-- We have dreams to pursue, We have situations to change, We still want to grow and experience the gift of life, We still want to see ourselves transforming from ordinary to extraordinary, Please feel pity for us, You've put us through sleepless nights, For our spirits are restless. AFRICANS, Let us hold hands together to fight this virus, Let us work together towards supporting those affected by this pandemic, Let us enhance the beauty of Ubuntu, Let us lift as we rise, And Africa will be safe! By MOKOENA MODIEHI, gr 11

Day 7 (2 April)


People don’t realise how important their lives are. The situation we are facing now is very painful. People don’t want to work together as a country, so that we can be able to stay safe and protected from this Corona Pandemic.

They are busy roaming on the streets, not adhering to the rules that were set by our president , not knowing the difficulties that our doctors are facing . Now we have to run away from the soldiers and police, hide in the corners while knowing that there is a small thing we can do to reduce this situation we are facing of Corona virus that is busy galloping the whole world.

People are dying each and everyday. Others are being infected and few are recovering from this Corona Pandemic. It feels like the world is going to its end.

We now can’t go to schools, our parents are hiding at home, not working. Some other families are struggling to put a bread on the table. There are no equipments for most families to protect themselves from this Covid-19.

It’s our obligation to work together as a counrty. We can’t consider this as a derisory thing. It’s a huge and painful problem that needs us to stand together to be able to prevent it from attacking. We also need to help the homeless people so that they can also be safe. If we are not working together , it will become a prolonged problem


Junita Molokomme -Grade 11c

from Kgomotso Cholo, grade 9

Day 8 (Friday 3rd April)


Corona virus, you are testing us

You are attacking us by surprise

You are putting us in a corner like a cat

You are not giving us a way to run

We are in tribulation because of you

But here's what we will do

We will stick together

We will fight you as you are not leaving us any choice

We will be patient

We will listen and be blessed

We will become stronger as you are our enemy

Because enemies make you stronger

Kgotso Tsoai, gr 10

Distribution of hand sanitizers in Alexandra (phto V Hirsch)

"As i heard about this virus at first, I thought It wouldn't take time to perish. But as days and weeks passed, it started to be more serious : I started trembling! As people died all over the world, I asked myself questions like what if it hits our country. Unfortunately it to did and increased rapidly. As the president announced that schools will be closed, i was really frustrated. What if I have to repeat my grade again next year ?. This is a really crucial moment for our country to comply ,follow rules and fight against this deadly virus. The saddest part is that my community (Alexandra township ) many people don't take this serious They think this virus won't affect them, it doesn't even exist or they are immune to it. Firstly poverty is striking this community, imagining that if this virus affect us here, while we also have poor health facilities : many people might die. MY FELLOW SOUTH AFRICANS COMMENCE NOW, IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO FOLLOW THE RULES AND COMPLY. Only prayer is the only solution that will help us save our country and the world as a whole. Nthabiseng Senyolo grade11.

Day 9 (Saturday 04 April)

Tsakelo Mchavi - gr 9

Where I live, soldiers are rare to be found around 9 am and 6 pm

So our tuck shops are usually open to buy anything that may needed at home

At home, I get to wake up, clean the house with my two older sisters

Then do the dishes

My oldest sister would take care of her little baby and my other sister would cook supper✨

It's fun sometimes because we get to dance together playing music

Watch movies and cartoons together and also help me study and revise my books✨

Even thou I miss school

This gives me a chance to bond with my family and start being creative like creating my own face mask

Philela Vikwa, grade 10

Day 10 (Sunday 05 April)

3 prayers poems for this Sunday

"Nkosi sikelela i-Afrka"

I cry out this prayer unto the Lord our God,

Covid-19 has already killed over thousands of our brothers and sisters in a blink of an eye...

Oh dear God! Please intrude as our leaders have taken a stand...

Implementing lockdown which reminds me of Isaiah 26 vs 20 which says "go my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you, hide yourself for a while until his wrath has passed by"

Lord we know we are sinners and you are punishing us for our sins

Yet we also know that you say in your word that you will never leave nor forsaken us ...

Protect planet earth oh Lord...

That is the prayer I render unto the Lord

I pray against covid-19, a sickness that has broke out to end the existence of life on earth

With so many cases reported daily that people are dying, I am surprised there are people who are ignorant, people who can follow one simple instruction "stay indoors " but no

They want to be outside

I appreciate how the soldiers along with the police handle the thick headed " squat(a) mfana", " dira di frog jump", "roll(a) ngok'shesha wena" , "shay'ama push-ups wena"

Non-violent solutions yet worth it

Covid-19 is a new disease that we need to pray against, and believe that our scientists will find its cure

Yingakho ngithi "nkosi sikelela i-Afrika"

Praise mlalazi -PRYZ da poet (grade 12)

photo - Praise

What is to become of the nation tomorrow?

Why has misery overcome our nation?

Hear us, as we call upon you, as we seek protection and guidance from you.

We are your children

Hear our cry, our tears running down our faces are about to blind us .

Protect us, lead us in a righteous path and give us life, hope and strength to fight this pandemic.

And help us to change our mindset to not take everything as a joke! And not not be quick to act

as haste makes waste.

We are scared, We've became intimidated by this coronavirus hence we've lost many innocent souls

Oh father!have mercy and may their souls rest in peace.

The coronavirus does not recognise anyone as a friend , it drenthes all equally.

We believe every cloud has a silver lining and that fortune favours the bold. Vindicate us from this pandemic as we fight this pandemic united we shall stand .

Life is like a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly and its no more .We are not ready to lose our loved ones and we say its enough

Lets all bring hands together and help one another .


Rose Makaepea – gr 12

Listen , just listen (the world is quiet)

Is the world really coming to an end , is humanity coming to an end.

The world is facing an enemy , an invisible enemy. A dangerous enemy that's able to destroy powerful countries down to their knees. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, is this my future , our future as the new generation living in a world that might never recover.

I closed my eyes for just a second and as I opened them , thousands of people have died and hundreds of thousands are infected due to this virus .

What is to happen to our generation , my generation is this the kind of stories I was supposed to tell them that humanity was about to come to an end

My people have had enough of this virus , I have cried for way too long and released a lot of tears to a point that don't have any tears left ,

Let us bring our pride and our guards but instead embrace the word *UBUNTU/BOTHO*

Those who are poor and rich also those who are young and old must come together, not physically but spiritually, to fight this enemy because departing ourselves from each other might bring us down even further and we might lose those we look up to