When your parent die when you are 11 years-old and you leave home at age 16 to fend for yourself, every achievement after "just trying to survive" is worth celebrating. Just ask Zodwa, who can't help but look back on where she came from and be grateful.
The entertainer, who celebrated her birthday this week, remembered a time where she had no one but God to ask the difficult questions to.
“I remember asking God would I die being nothing?" she reflected in an Instagram post this week.
The entertainer described how she was brought up by her grandmother and aunt after her mother's death and her aunt's words to her.
"My Aunt from Nelspruit said Zodwa you left home when you were 16, all these years you have never looked back. But please, if it's hard out there, come back as you are. Uyaphila, you are breathing, we won't ask you questions just come back."
Zodwa said looking back she saw how hard it was for her aunt as well.
She explained that her aunt married at the age of 15 and that she had nine children of her own to care for, so she didn't blame her for how her life was when she was younger.
Zodwa said even though her faith has wavered as life threw shots at her, the one thing she has never stopped doing was to pray.
"I've been a fighter all my life. No parents. No guidance or guardian at all. But with God only. I didn't give up but I already told myself that I will just die with nothing but my stomach full."
"For the record, I do pray. I prayed more when I was 15 to 28 years old."
Zodwa also thanked her mentor DJ Tira for helping make her the brand that she is today.
"DJ Tira, what I have asked you from day one, and (what) I have asked any businessman, was for them help me with tears on my face. So whatever I became or become it is because you gave me a chance in life."
Zodwa's life has been a rollercoaster and in an exclusive interview with TshisaLIVE last year, the dancer spoke about the hard times she's endured.
"I had to fight for food and I could see then that that isn't the way life should be. I was asked why I was eating when my cousin's weren't. So I had no choice but to move. I knew I needed to hustle."
“I left home when I was 16 and until today, no matter how hard life was out there, I never packed up and went back home. When you are young, you are less fearful of life because you are optimistic compared to when you are older. Back then I just hustled," she said at the time.
View this post on Instagram