WATCH |This gardener lost his sight, his job, and his home – but not the will to flourish
Vuyo Tsika’s work as a taxi driver and mechanic was dependent on his sight. Then he went blind. As a result of an eye infection, Tsika lost the ability to see as well as his livelihood.
That was 25 years ago, and it was just the beginning of his woes. People took advantage of Tsika’s disability and stole his taxis.
He moved to the township of Langa, where a fire burnt down his home. This many setbacks would be enough to keep anyone down. But every time, Tsika rose stronger.
Now living in Delft in the Western Cape, 70-year-old Tsika has cultivated a thriving venture. Just off the roadside, he’s divided a small piece of land into neat garden squares.
Here, Tsika grows nutritious essentials such as spinach, tomatoes, peas and carrots. He feels his way around the garden, using his familiarity of the plot and keen knowledge of the plants to guide him.
Even without sight, Tsika still waters and weeds from 9am to 7pm. “At the end of the day, I’ve got something to eat,” he says. “I’ve got something to put on the table.”
Tsika and his garden have been flourishing for the past five years. Though he works alone, the food Tsika harvests feeds the entire neighbourhood.
It’s been a saving grace in Delft, one of Cape Town’s most impoverished townships. With his initiative, Tsika is showing his community that they too can grow in the most unlikely situations.