I am from Vodivato, a small village on a hill in the highlands, surrounded by rice fields. My parents have a small rice field and grow cassava, beans, potatoes and other vegetables. My name, Tantely, means ‘honey’ in Malagasy so many of classmates have taken to calling me “Honey”.
These days people think I am quite strong and well built but I wasn’t always like that. I only started to grow when I was 16 years old. Before that, I was always the smallest boy in class. Because of that I was bullied a lot. It started from the moment I went to primary school. When I was 12 I tried to fight back a couple of times, but it only resulted in some severe injuries and scars. My father told me to stop fighting, and I tried, but one day I couldn’t stand it and hit back. I ended up in hospital. My father was very sad and begged me not to fight anymore. I won’t ever forget the worry on my fathers face and his words had great impact on me. I never fought again. From then on, my motto was: “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
Except for the bullying, I liked school very much. Especially mathematics, science , physics and philosophy. I think learning new skills is important. Skills can set you up for life. You could say I am very much looking forward to becoming a coder!