Allemansdrift is a small village on the banks of Mkhombo Dam in the former kwaNdebele homeland, in Mpumalanga province.
Thandi Zungu was born and raised here. She lives with her unemployed mother and two siblings- two boys and a girl. Her father, Jacob, died of cancer in 1997.
In April of 2002, while travelling with teammates to a netball match in Neilspruit, she got involved in a car accident. Their driver lost control of the minibus they were travelling in and rolled it off the highway and in to a ditch.
The horrific accident left her wheelchair bound. She was hospitalized for five months and could not write her year-end exams that year.
Although she was wheelchair bound, in 2003 Thandi wanted to go back to school and complete her metric. But her school turned her away, citing a lack of provision for her wheelchair.
The principal at the school told Thandi’s mother, Norah, to find her a school for children with special needs.
Norah realized that persuading the principal to accept her daughter in to the school would be a waste of time. So she began searching for another school.
Thandi was rejected by almost all the school to which she applied. Only one school, in Witbank, accepted her application.
But Thandi only spent six months at the school. It was too expensive and her mother could not afford to pay her fees. So she had to drop out.
Six months later, Thandi was still sitting at home. She was deeply depressed, and she had lost hope of ever completing her high school education. She had given up on all the dreams she had before the accident.
Senzo Msiza, a clerk at a nearby primary school, read about Thandi’s story in the local newspaper. He was so moved by Thandi’s miserable plight that he stepped up to lend a hand.
He offered to pay for Thandi’s fees from his own pocket. He also took it upon himself to help
Thandi apply for bursaries.
Thandi has since completed her high school education. She is now studying for a psychology degree at Wits University. She is finally living her dream, and it’s all thanks to Senzo’s generosity.
If it wasn’t for Senzo, Thandi could not have completed her high school education, let alone
go to varsity. She’d still be sitting at home with no hope of ever seeing her dreams come
Obviously, Senzo didn’t change the world. But he revived her dreams in a way she never thought anyone could. He changed her life.
And he did all this without any expectations of gain. He was not motivated by self-interests
or moral hypocrisy. He stepped up to lend a hand simply because he believed it was the right thing to do.
Senzo’s benevolent gesture is a good example of what the world needs to be a better placeubuntu.
And this, in my view, is the one thing the world needs right now.
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