Home at last for gran

''Ho monate ke kene kantlong!'' shouts an old woman, proudly placing her hands on her waist, as soon as the Housing Department is mentioned.

''Ho monate ke kene kantlong!'' shouts an old woman, proudly placing her hands on her waist, as soon as the Housing Department is mentioned.

The diminutive granny, Naome Tsamaela, celebrated her 77th birthday in her own RDP home.

Tsamaela's house has given her a new zest for life. She says that she now goes to the clinic regularly because she wants to stay healthy for as long as possible.

''I am healthy and kea kwenya kwenya [taking my medication].''

Tsamaela is one of nearly 1000 residents of Tshepong whose new house has just been completed. The process of formalising the informal settlement and replacing shacks with RDP houses started last year.

Tsamaela lives with her unemployed daughter Lala and two small grandchildren. She is planning to put up a "stop nonsense" sign on one side of her house to keep away bad elements, and to start a vegetable garden.

The old lady keeps busy tidying her house and yard. She has managed to plaster the inside of the house and has a few chairs and curtains, but her dream is to have sefatenyana (wooden furniture) in her bedroom.

She raised her seven children moving from place to place and renting rooms in people's yards. Now that she has her own home, she feels like reversing and reliving those years with her children.

''I keep telling all my children to come back home,'' Tsamaela says.

The happy granny had a message for Housing MEC Nomvula Mokonyane: "Kemo rata, rata rati" [tell her I love her very, very much], and may she continue to help others who do not have homes.''

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