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“Hijacking motivated me to pursue my dream”

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“I can remember standing in sand, him standing next to me with a gun to my head. I closed my eyes and said my kalima thinking that this was it; this was how it was going to end…”

This is how pottery facilitator, Laiqah Dinie recounted her traumatic ordeal after being hijacked earlier this year. The incident proved humbling for the aspiring potter, spurring her to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching the art.

Dinie was hijacked in the city centre in February during the early hours of the morning, having just dropped her boyfriend off at work. The perpetrator had initially assisted the couple in trying to get into the work premises. She recounted the experience.

“As I was driving off and went around the bend he was standing in the road. He waved at me and said he wanted to ask me something. When I stopped he came to my window and said something about the trains, but I couldn’t really hear. He then walked around my car and walked to the passenger side, opened up the car and got in with his gun, because my car didn’t lock,” she explained.

That started what was to be almost an hour long ordeal, the hijacker forcing Dinie to drive out of the city before throwing her out of the vehicle in Joostenbergvlakte, close to Kraaifontein. To her fortune, she was spared any serious harm.

“I was blessed that he didn’t hurt me at all; in fact he got back into my car and drove off with it,” she noted.

She described the incident as a wakeup call, motivating her to pursue a childhood passion that had slipped away over the years, by teaching the art of pottery to young, destitute children.

“I decided to invest my money into getting a pottery kiln and a studio going, because what I’m intending to do is to help children that are destitute get off the streets. I want to give them a skill that they can use when they’re bigger to try and prevent them from going that route that the guy (perpetrator) took,” she said, reiterating that she wanted to prevent homeless youth from resorting to criminal means in order to make ends meet.

While Dinie something of a background in pottery, the skill is something she has had to re-familiarise herself with.

“My mother’s best friend stays out in Worcester and every now and again when we visited, because I’m from Pretoria, I would be sitting in the studio playing with the clay and making stuff. At some point in time my love for it grew and when I finished school I had the opportunity to go at a pottery studio. When I moved down to Cape Town I got married and never actually had the opportunity to do what I love,” she stated.

Dinie is hoping to establish classes within the new year.

Those interested to learn more can visit her Facebook page at VOC

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