Ubuntu starts at home

Nompukane Dondashe and her husband Xomoyi Ngubombini (pic courtesy The Dispatch)

Proving that the spirit of ubuntu is still alive and well in Buffalo City, three senior citizens are set to benefit from a community initiative to rebuild their houses after they were gutted by fire.

Thembeka Jadezweni, 74, lost all her possessions when her four- roomed home in Mdantsane’s NU1 caught fire and burnt down, leaving her and her three grandchildren without a roof over their heads. Jadezweni had no idea where to turn or what to do as she survives on only her R1080 monthly social grant.

But to her joy and surprise, community members from the area pitched in to help rebuild the house.

Vusumzi Tutu and Gwebile Kosani, the NU1 community leaders who came up with the idea to assist Jadezweni and her grandchildren, said they wanted the family to be able to move back into their own home. "Even though we’ve got nothing, no one must suffer, particularly the elderly [and so] we started building her house from handouts," said Tutu, adding that they were running out of materials fast. "But we are determined to finish her house."

Kosani said they started after receiving R2500 from a local tavern owner. "This businessman was giving R5000 to a local school but we said we will take R2500 from the money to use for this after we saw this woman’s plight," he said.

Yesterday, Jadezweni – who is currently staying at her daughter’s house – said she was happy with the community’s initiative.

"To be honest, it never came to my mind that the community could team up and support me," she said.

"I am very happy with this, I just don’t know how to thank them. God will have plans for them."

Her daughter, Veliswa Dungu, was equally excited: "What they’ve done to my mother’s house is not equal to anything [before].

"They’ve showed how community leaders should be."

Jadezweni is not the only one to benefit from the Good Samaritans’ work.

Xomoyi Ngubombini, 90, and his wife Nompukane Dondashe, 79, are also in line to benefit after their house was destroyed in a fire in April from an electrical fault.

Once work at Jadezweni’s house is completed later this month the team will move to NU3, where they will rebuild the elderly couple’s house.

"This came as a surprise to us and we are happy to hear the good news.

"We really didn’t know what to do about this house," said Ngubombini.

"We had given up hope of seeing our house in shape again, thanks to this team."

Tutu said the initiative was about bringing back smiles and family memories to those in need.

(This story is courtesy of The Dispatch. Used with permission.)