Ndou's plea for help on TV gets generous response

Shopping spree for a struggling mother

Tshenolo Ndou of Diepsloot was treated to a shopping spree at a mall on Tuesday.
Tshenolo Ndou of Diepsloot was treated to a shopping spree at a mall on Tuesday.
Image: Twitter: @FundiswaNhlapo1

A Diepsloot mother who is struggling financially to care for six children was treated like a queen for a day.

On Monday a video of Tshenolo Ndou, 30, went viral on social media. She was captured during a TV programme on Moja Love tearfully explaining how she was battling to feed her children. The mother also shared that she had never set foot in a Shoprite store as she cannot afford to buy food there. Instead, she purchases maize meal and potatoes from a tuck shop to feed the family.

Within 48 hours her load was lifted, thanks to a well-known and yet faceless Good Samaritan who goes by the name of BI Phakathi on social media.

Ndou told Sowetan sister publication TimesLIVE she stepped into a mall for the first time in her life and got treated to a shopping spree by BI Phakathi. 

“I don't know what to say. He is truly God-sent. He bought clothes for all the children and me, and he also bought us lots of groceries. I can't believe a stranger did all of this for us without expecting anything in return,” Ndou said. 

She shopped at Fourways Mall on Tuesday and was joined by two of her youngest children. It was a joyful experience they will never forget, she said.

For the first time in her life she also has a cellphone after BI Phakathi bought her a smart device. 

“I don't even know how to thank him. He is such a kind and giving person. I still feel like I'm dreaming.”

Ndou has three girls aged 10, four and two and a boy aged seven. She's also looking after her late sister's sons, aged 12 and 15. 

Originally from Tshikundamalema outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, she doesn't receive social grants because she doesn't have an identity document and none of the children have birth certificates.

“I was raised by my grandmother and she couldn't apply for an ID for me while she was alive. I don't know my parents so trying to get an ID has been a challenge. I went to home affairs  but they told me they need a letter from the chief back home and from my previous school.”

Due to lack of money, she had not been able to travel to her home village, 490km away to sort out the ID matter.

“When I go home I can't leave the children here because they are young so I'll have to take them with, which makes the cost way too high. But I'm hoping I'll be able to go soon and sort it out so I can benefit from the many government projects out there. Right now I can't apply for an RDP house or a job,” she said. 

She earns a living by doing laundry and cleaning for neighbours in Dieplsoot, for which she's paid between R80 and R100 a day. 

“Sometimes weeks pass by without anyone calling me and it becomes so hard.” – TimesLIVE