People in the Free State, name you after the farm where you work. So you could be called Klaas Dagbreek, Jan Mooiplaas or like me Petrus Skietkop. I am Petrus Kykus, my mom was very religious and named me after Peter in the Bible. Peter means “rock.”

Currently, I guard a herd of cattle overnight. It’s an important job as many tsotsis (thieves) come for them at night. It’s tough though, it’s freezing at night, and I can’t light a fire as they’ll see me.

You see I’m struggling to walk? With my month-end salary, I always go to buy a beer to treat myself. But last week at the canteen someone tried to rob me. I am not a fighter. However, I don’t earn much and, I can’t afford to lose it, so I had to fight him. He misjudged Petrus Skietkop, and I nearly took his head off. He is still in the hospital, and I struggle to walk as he bit me all over my body. It is challenging for us, every month-end the people that work are targeted by thugs. They are unemployed and hang around the township every day. I have lost many friends to them this year and no one ever says a thing about it. I feel especially sad for the woman and old people that cannot fight back.

I have worked on many farms all over the Free State. Before this, I worked at Skietkop for many years. Before that, I was a tractor driver. However, it killed me sitting on that tractor all day long, six days a week for seventeen years and I just had to break free from it!

Why do you ask me all these questions? No one has ever spoken to me like this; no one has ever been interested in Petrus Skietkop.

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