Suffering grannies grateful for help

LIFESAVER: Mama Angel with granny, Anna
LIFESAVER: Mama Angel with granny, Anna "Sdudla" Thango and her pastor's wife Lizzy Ngwenya (left). Pic. Unknown.

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

Mama Angel's visit lightened the sombre mood at Anna "Sdudla" Thango's Zola 3, Soweto, home last week.

Sowetan arrived at the end of a moving church service, just in time to console granny Thango.

The 69-year-old mother of six buried her last surviving child two weeks ago. Nsizwa Sibusiso Thango was assaulted and killed near his home by muggers.

He was the breadwinner of the family and supported his mother, two nieces and two grandchildren. He was unemployed so he did piece jobs around the neighbourhood.

Granny Thango lost all her children to violence in Zola 3, which is ruled by a vicious gang of pickpockets who terrorise people. Mama Angel had to adhere to strict protocol during the visit to avoid being attacked.

The community and the congregation of the Religious in Christ Ekukhanyeni Branch Church donated money to bury Nsizwa Thango.

"I have no one left," his sad mother said. "They are all dead. My husband, my siblings and now all my children. I have lost everyone in my family."

Thango has to support her late sister's and brother's two children and also another brother's grandchildren on her meagre pension.

Sowetan gave the destitute family some of the food parcels that were donated by Lebo Shai Dibakwana, a successful businessman who is involved in a campaign to halt poverty in the townships.

He gives back to the community to honour a vow he made to his ancestors.

Granny Thango said: "I am glad that God sent you to me. Your gift has made my heart feel lighter. I thank Sowetan and all the people who helped me to bury my son."

Mama Angel also took groceries to another granny, Sara Nkosi, in the same area. Nkosi, 78, is back in her house after she was kicked out by her own daughter and son-in-law.

She fought a long battle to get her house back. We met her at the rent offices where she is in the process of re-registering as a homeowner.

Granny Nkosi supports three grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Nkosi was speechless and started crying when she was presented with the groceries.