Alinah is the 'Lady of the Castle'

Alinah Mavuso, a 41-year-old mother of three, recently moved into a newly built RDP house. Within a short space of time, she became known in the streets of Tshepong as the "Lady of the Castle".

Alinah Mavuso, a 41-year-old mother of three, recently moved into a newly built RDP house. Within a short space of time, she became known in the streets of Tshepong as the "Lady of the Castle".

It is not hard to see why Alinah, a tiny unassuming woman, quickly transformed the shell of her house into a bright, tastefully decorated and dazzling home, oozing with comfort.

Driving down the dusty streets it is hard not to miss the brilliant white voile curtains peeping out of the windows - and the shiny black stoep at the front of the house that welcomes the visitor.

When Alinah took occupation of the house, she wasted no time in enhancing and improving her new gift. She began plastering walls, tiling floors, painting walls, putting up curtains and decorating with the best linen she could find.

Surviving off part-time work, Alinah puts every cent towards making her home comfortable.

The kitchen is filled with shiny pots and utensils, the living room is an inviting family space and the bedrooms are neatly made up, with long-flowing curtains swaying gently in the breeze.

"I did not buy this house, it was built for me by the government because I had no house of my own," says Alinah, who registered in 1996 for a house and waited patiently for the big day.

She is now looking forward to Christmas, together with her children, in the security of their new home. "I used to worry about what would happen to my children when I died and they did not have a home they could call their own, but not anymore," says Alinah.

And a word of warning from the proud homeowner: "Housing officials told me now I have a house I must never borrow money from abomashonisa (loan sharks) and give away my title deed as a form of security."

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