I had just withdrawn R1,000 from the ATM and was briskly walking home one afternoon in Hillbrow when I suddenly felt a crushing blow on my back.
My survival instinct kicked in as I fell to the ground in pain. I rolled like I had seen it done in the movies and started kicking wildly at my attacker.
Passersby went about their business as if they did not see my predicament and one even chuckled and told me to give my robber what he wanted.
The thought of being relieved of my hard-earned grand inspired me to land a Mike Tyson-inspired left-hook on the face of the thug. He got the message as I hot-footed it to the entrance of my apartment. I breathlessly told the security at my complex what had just happened but there was nothing he could do as his jurisdiction did not spill onto the dangerous streets.
He said I was lucky to be alive, a refrain that often gives cold comfort to crime victims.
I did not lay a charge with the police as I could not give a description of my assailant.
I lived in Hillbrow for about four years but somehow never felt like I belonged.
My flat at the corner of Kaptein and Kotze streets was a decent and secure abode but one step on the streets of Hellbrow seemed like I'd entered another planet.
From the comfort of my second-floor balcony, I often witnessed people being robbed of their belongings, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Their cries for help woke me up but there was precious little I could do except occasionally dial the emergency number.