TV show inspires kids to rally round tumour sufferer

2008-09-25 00:00

A group of Edendale Primary School pupils and teachers have undertaken to assist an orphaned teenager who is suffering from a disfiguring affliction.

Sphamandla Mazibuko (18) has developed a tumour in his mouth, causing his lip to protrude beyond his chin. The group are appealing to the public to assist Mazibuko to get medication and care.

Inspired by the television programme Soul Buddyz, the group looks after the welfare of children in the school and the area. One of the teachers in the group, Mawini Zulu, said their objective is “to help both within and outside the classroom”.

Mazibuko does not go to their school, but the group spotted him on the street. “We were concerned about his condition and we decided to do something to help.”

The growing tumour has affected Mazibuko’s health and appearance. The shape of his face has changed and his eyes are bloodshot. He battles to speak and is in pain. He has been to Greys Hospital, but it is not clear what progress has been made.

KZN Health Department spokesman Leon Mbangwa confirmed that Mazibuko is an outpatient at Greys.

“The hospital is not in a position to comment on his progress. However, he will report to the hospital on October 5 and 6. Tests have been done on him and he is on medication until he reports to the hospital, when specialists will attend to him.”

Mazibuko is orphaned and lives with a foster parent who is unemployed. According to Edendale Primary teacher Sibongile Nkosi, Mazibuko’s foster care grant has been terminated.

“He is 18 years of age and does not go to school, so the government has stopped his grant. His foster mother is struggling to care for him.”

It is believed that Mazibuko only studied up to grade two.

Grade seven pupil Sphumelele Gumede (13) said she wishes that Mazibuko could return to school.

“We are asking the public to help Sphamandla to be like other children. He needs treatment for his illness and needs education like all of us.”

It is believed that Mazibuko is also mentally challenged and may need to go to a special school.

You can help: Phone Edendale Primary on the number at left, Mawini Zulu on 083 690 8553 or Sibongile Nkosi on 082 787 9946.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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