Gold heart glows in winter cold

Elisha Molefe

An emerging building contractor was so touched by two young orphans that she opened her purse for them.

But Nonhlanhla Shezi, 28, from Bethlehem, Free State, did not have the heart to leave 69 others to face an uncertain future alone.

Early last year, when Shezi won a tender from the Education Department to build two flushing toilets at Iteboheng Primary School, she vowed to plough something back into the community.

There was no better way than to help the needy school in the poverty-stricken rural village of Makong, in the Maluti a Phofung district. Since the school was built by the government in 1978, the children and teachers have been using pit toilets. The pupil enrolment stands at 857.

David Mlangeni, the principal, said they were afraid pupils would fall into the toilets and asked the government for help.

"We were lucky the person who won the tender has a heart of gold. Most people here are unemployed and we have a great number of orphans to help," he said.

Shezi has spent more than R20000 on 71 orphans to buy them each a pair of shoes, socks, trousers or a skirt, a jersey and a pair of gloves to face the winter cold.

"I plead with fellow contractors who have won tenders to help society, especially those who are vulnerable such as orphans, the sickly and the elderly," Shezi said, and quoted a verse from the Bible: "The hand that gives is more blessed than the hand that receives."