Anxious mother awaits daughter’s return from Nigeria

2014-09-20 04:21

As the confirmed death toll reached 84 after the building collapse in Nigeria, sleepless nights have become the order of the day for family members of the deceased and unaccounted-for South Africans.

Nomathemba Muholi’s daughter left with a group of friends to Nigeria a week before the tragic incident happened. Muholi, 68, yesterday said her 31-year-old daughter had been planning to visit TB Joshua’s famous church for months before she eventually left.

“She became sick, it shocked her, all of us, how her life quickly deteriorated after we found out that she had been sick all along. She thought the pastor’s blessings would improve her health,” said Muholi.

The pensioner from Mamelodi, outside Pretoria, has been camping at OR Tambo International Airport since the news of the tragedy broke in the country early this week.

None of her daughter’s friends have emerged from the sliding doors at the arrival hall.

“I listen to the news, hoping maybe her name [will be called] or something will be telling ... I‘m not always on the wireless [radio] though. Family members keep me informed from time to time when they come to see me here. My child could be alive, I hope,” she said.

Muholi was not aware that the death toll had risen from 67 to 84 when City Press spoke to her hours after the number had been reported and confirmed in the media.

“I hope she is among the few that are still unaccounted for, or at least she is in hospital,” she said.

The soft-spoken grandmother of four has seen no less than a dozen flights from Africa’s biggest economy land at the premises, and her agonising anxiety has been growing with every passing hour.

It is understood that an average of 300 South Africans flock to TB Joshua’s church monthly for different spiritual needs.

Muholi, a Catholic, said although she never paid attention to the magical prophecies associated with Joshua, she would’ve considered going to Nigeria if her child came back with at least a positive spirit.

“I wouldn’t mind if she gets here and says ‘I feel much better, I have hope’ and I witness the progress myself,” she said.

Meanwhile, more flights were expected to touch down at OR Tambo this weekend.

One of them may hopefully bring Muholi’s child home.

“I miss her,” she added.

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