Fri Oct 21 15:23:53 SAST 2016

Table is bare for unemployed, poor

By unknown | Dec 27, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Festivities around the world at this time of the year are but a dream for many unemployed and poor people.

While shopping for Christmas have you ever wondered what kind of Christmas people in informal settlements have?

Well, Christmas does not exist and in many communities the spirit of giving is extinct.

Kedisaletse Monchusi, 34, a mother of four at Princess Crossing informal settlement in Roodepoort, West Rand, said Christmas was just another day because she did not have anything to give her children.

"We just woke up and went about our day as if nothing was happening," she said.

"We did not have food or any other goodies that other people had, so we didn't celebrate even though we knew it was Christmas."

Monchusi moved to Johannesburg from Taung, in the Northern Cape, in 2003 hoping to find a job. That dream has not come true for her.

Sitting outside the two-roomed shack she shares with her boyfriend Joel Matlhomola, with her children playing around her as if oblivious to their poverty, Monchusi could only wish for a job.

"Maybe my dream will come true in 2008 and next Christmas will be better," she said.

Monchusi's table was bare. Unlike many other households she did not have a chicken roasting in the oven - she does not even have an oven. And there were none of the vegetables and desserts that always make the day special.

Monchusi never stops smiling and her children also look unfazed by their dire circumstances.

"The children are making this feel better because they are so happy and playful," she said holding her five-month-old baby boy.

But she said it hurt being unable to provide enough for her children.

"It is painful for a mother not to be able to buy things for her children, not even toys."

She said she dreamt of a day when she could put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with her children.

"We can't buy trees now when there is no food for the children to eat," she said.

Monchusi said she relied on the help of Matlhomola's brother who recently bought the children new clothes.

"We are going to get ready and wear our new clothes," bragged 10-year-old Tutu, Monchusi's only daughter.


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