Poor family gets a 'gift from God'

Alex Matlala

Alex Matlala

A community builder of the year award winner has opened her heart and her wallet for a poor family - to give them a new lease on life.

The 2007 water and sanitation project winner, Clive Mashele, has built the Nkombezekwa family a five-room house and bought them furniture worth R80000.

In the past 26 years, the family of seven in Moime' Mojeteng, Lenyenye in Tzaneen, have been sleeping, cooking and bathing in a one-room mud hut.

The family's head, Maropeng Nkombezekwa, had to share the room with his wife Lydia and their five children .

When it rained, the family had to ask for shelter from neighbours. But, at times their pleas were ignored.

The family's appalling living conditions were noticed one recent morning by Mashele when she was inspecting the pit toilets she had built for the poor communities in Tzaneen.

Mashele was quick to organise building materials, including bricks and cement, in partnership with the greater Tzaneen municipality .

It took a week for the five-room house and a pit toilet to be completed.

The house comprises three bedrooms, a lounge and a kitchen. It was fitted with new furniture that includes bedding, sheets, a TV set and a stove.

"This to me is a gift from God. Thanks to Mashele for giving us hope ," said Nkombezekwa, who is disabled.

His wife, who is also disabled, could not hold her tears of joy and said: "Tshiwana e sa gweng e leta monono." (A Sepedi expression meaning a poor man that does not die is awaiting fortunes)

Mashele said yesterday it was the duty of every business person to plough back into their communities .