Life in the bush in place of boyhood dreams

Canaan Mdletshe

For the past 11 years, 33-year-old David Molate has been sleeping in the bush near Blythedale Beach in KwaDukuza on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

His home is a shelter made of beach shrubbery. He begs at a local shopping centre, eats leftovers from beach-goers and bathes in the sea.

He lives there because he cannot find a job or a proper home.

He said he was once a normal, healthy and capable human being.

"I used to live in Spankop village, in Hammanskraal, outside Tshwane, but I was forced to leave home in 1997 by my uncle and other elders," he said.

They told him to leave because he was bewitched.

He said his dream for a prosperous future was shattered after he failed to finish his course in business studies due to ill-health.

"I could not concentrate in class and everything was falling apart.

"My family decided I seek refuge elsewhere," said Molate.

Molate said he came to KwaZulu-Natal with only a few clothes and a bag.

At first he tried to live with his uncle in Durban, but this did not work out.

"I had no one else to live with so I started squatting in different shacks around Durban."

Molate said he wanted to further his studies, and he's clinging to his dream.

"As a young boy, I dreamt of becoming a businessman and I still believe I can achieve that."

For now, Molate tries to survive life out in the open.