But Mama Angel is a tower of strength for grieving family

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

For a long time Fikile Dlamini didn't know what was wrong with her youngest child.

Bonokwakhe was born healthy and strong in September.

"But hardly a month after he was born, he started wasting away. He lost a lot of weight," said Fikile.

Bonokwakhe died on February 20. He was only five months old. He had spent most of his short life in hospital.

Fikile still does not know what killed her baby. Doctors at Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital told the confused mother that her baby had a hole in his heart, that he couldn't breathe properly because of problems with his lungs and that he suffered from kwashiorkor, a condition that mostly affects young children whose diet lacks protein and consists mainly of starch.

"I was told he wouldn't grow into a healthy and normal child," said Fikile.

The time that Bonokwakhe spent in hospital was frustrating for Fikile and her family.

But Sowetan's benevolent mascot, Mama Angel, helped ease the family's burden in their time of distress.

Little Bonokwakhe spent three months in hospital.

"I was happy we were able to spend Christmas with him at home, though I was hurting because I didn't know for sure what was wrong with him" said Fikile.

Mama Angel went to visit baby Bonokwakhe and showered him with baby formula, cereal, toiletries, napkins and clothes.

After fighting bravely for five months, Bonokwakhe died at the hospital only two days after Mama Angel's visit.

Mama Angel once again lent a hand to the grieving family. As well as consoling them, she provided meat, samp and vegetables for the funeral.

Baby Bonokwakhe was buried on February 25.

Fikile said: "I can't thank Mama Angel enough for all the support she has given me and my family. I pray that she will be able to do the same for others too."