New name, new home

NEW START: Baby Shiluva Sibiya now called Tsakani, with her mother Vutlhari Mahlale. © Unknown.
NEW START: Baby Shiluva Sibiya now called Tsakani, with her mother Vutlhari Mahlale. © Unknown.

Victor Hlungwani and Selby Makgotho

Victor Hlungwani and Selby Makgotho

Little Shiluva Sibiya, the Limpopo baby born without arms, was yesterday given a new name, Tsakani, which means "happiness".

She also has a new home, in Polokwane.

Her 22-year-old mother, Vutlhari Mahlale, who has been struggling to support her, has been offered a job at the Myngenoegen English Preparatory School in the city.

Betty Kennedy, owner of the school, Limpopo's First Lady, Ramokone Moloto, Elizabeth Lekganyane, wife of the leader of the Zion Christian Church, Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane, and businessman Tom Boya went to Xihosani village, near Malamulele, to fetch the child and her mother yesterday.

Ramokone Moloto's First Lady Trust was touched by the plight of the child when it was publicised by Sowetan.

Kennedy, known as the "Mother Teresa of Limpopo", named the child "Tsakani".

"This little angel will get all that a normal child would want. She will stay with me until her family decides they want her back.

"Her mother will be employed and the family are free to visit the child," Kennedy said, fighting back tears.

The child's grandmother, Mthavini Mahlale, said the trust's intervention was appreciated, particularly because she was struggling to make end meet.

"It has been a stressful time for us. We didn't know where to get help for the baby.

"When she grows up she won't be able to do things for herself," Mahlale said.

Moloto appealed to the Mahlale family to support Kennedy and not be influenced by people who wanted them to turn against her.

"We want to thank Sowetan for highlighting this child's plight.

"We all have a responsibility to support Vutlhari in her new job, but I want to warn you about people who might come here tomorrow and start telling you that she is being overworked, to make you, the family, turn against Kennedy," Moloto said.

Moloto said the First Lady Trust had asked the Department of Health and Social Development to provide artificial arms for the child.