PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
chica_papillon
 
Comments: 22
Article views: 3256
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all chica_papillon's badges.
 

This article has been selected as an Editor’s Choice report. Articles are selected based on quality of writing, audience response, newsworthiness and originality, and is at the discretion of the MyNews24 editors.

South Africa's most famous beggar...

16 September 2012, 18:51

Locals call it the town of oak trees, acorns and squirrels. Visitors will argue it is a real-life painting of coffee shops and antique stores, bustling with neo-hippie students.

The experts will tell you it is the wine capital of South Africa, gathering a score of international wine amateurs and connoisseurs. Stellenbosch: a student town that caters for lovers of art, music, wine, theatre and literature.

Or, so they claim… Walking down Bird Street, one of the busiest streets, you realise how intricate this place really is. The local celebrity, Moksie, is singing in front of the petrol station, waving as she sees my camera.

“I’m going to be on the cover of Die Son!” she screams, as she sees two girls in mini skirts approaching. Die Son, according to the Naspers website, is one of the fastest growing newspapers in South Africa. Bewildered, the girls run into on-coming traffic, missing a truck by a few centimetres.

Moksie is Stellenbosch’s most popular bergie (beggar). She even has her own Facebook fan page, with almost 3 400 fans. But, for many, the online page is a disgrace. Human rights activists at the university claim the page degrades her, as some students use it to mock her or make hurtful comments about the way she looks, speaks and acts. Die Matie, Stellenbosch’s campus newspaper, wrote a piece about the page and about her as a person in their last issue for the year to raise awareness amongst students.

She is aware of the page she tells me. “I’m a celeb,” she laughs. “I wish I could see it for myself, but I can’t read very well.”

Abandoned at a young age, many people took advantage of her. “I learnt to be tough,” she says biting on her lip with the teeth she has left. It is custom here for bergies to remove their front teeth.

“Love bite” the locals call it. I ask Moksie for her interpretation. “It started as a trend. First with the gangs, then with us ladies,” she tells me. “It’s beautiful, don’t you think?” she asks, softly touching her gums.

I nod and smile. I reveal to her the disappointing news that I’m not from Die Son, but a journalism student intrigued by her story. “What does ‘intrigued’ mean?” she asks, confused. I explain, but it’s hard to keep her attention.

Every time a student approaches, she screams. It’s obviously a game to her. “I love to see their reactions!” she says with a grin, “Try it!” I open my mouth and she laughs. “What a silly girl! You were really going to do it!”

Unlike other bergies, Moksie claims she does not use the money she gets for alcohol. “I have three children. I miss them. I must see them again.” They have been sent to foster parents. She talks about her youngest Elton (11) with tears in her eyes. She confesses she drank last night and felt bad. “I must learn to stop. For me. For him. But, I like my Savannah! And when the students offer me their bottles, I can’t say no.”

She pauses, then looks at the traffic stopping around us. People look at us. Some point.

“At least I’m not alone,” she says, as she wipes away the tears. “The students are now my children. I give them advice. I tell the girls their dresses are too short. I tell the boys to wear aftershave. If they help me, I help them.”

Born in 1968, her family constantly moved about because of Apartheid. “I’m used to this life,” she says of her gypsy lifestyle. I ask about her clothes. “Nice students give me something warm. Terrible ones throw stuff like beer on me to make me go away.”

She lives in a shack at the foot of the mountain and saves her money to buy cheap shoes and McDonald’s burgers, her favourite meal. She refuses to tell me how much she makes. “I don’t want the others to get jealous. They know the students love me best.”

As the sun sets, I tell her I have to run home. I thank her and give her R20. She hugs me tightly. “No, no, thank you for listening. God bless you, my child.” 

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
MarkH
Jackie Selebi and Clive Derby-Lew...

With regards to the death of Jackie Selebi and the continued incarceration of Clive Derby-Lewis I would like to make a couple of points, and I’m no lawyer - just a bystander. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Alessio Petrone
Proof of GOD's Existence

It is commonplace now in the year 2015 for all and sundry to debate the existence of GOD….many believe in been Atheists. Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
KingIshman Busa
Call for corruption register

A humble call is hereby made for our government to their seriousness in fighting corruption in SA Read more...

0 comments 0 views
Submitted by
Zama Moyo
Africa Must Stop Rising and Start...

My contention is that, unless two issues are acknowledged and attended to, we may find ourselves punting 2016 as Africa’s big year, then 2017, and so on. Read more...

6 comments 299 views
Submitted by
Gideon Joubert
Don't disarm my SAPS

Campaigning for the disarmament of citizens is a repellent pastime in itself, and is but a degree removed from demanding that the police themselves be disarmed as well.  Read more...

15 comments 240 views
Submitted by
MWF
Greed leading the blind

People of South Africa. I know we have our differences and we have a tainted past, but come on? Let’s not cripple our nation, just to prove a point to each other?  Read more...

2 comments 138 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.