Destitute families ask for aid

2016-11-10 06:00
Engie Gabhayi, who suffers from a double skin cancer, with her daughter, Thembelihle Gabhayi, in the shack they are keeping in Green Point, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday. Inset:  Nomsobo Gabhayi and her sick boyfriend, Monde Chubeka.  PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

Engie Gabhayi, who suffers from a double skin cancer, with her daughter, Thembelihle Gabhayi, in the shack they are keeping in Green Point, Khayelitsha, on Tuesday. Inset: Nomsobo Gabhayi and her sick boyfriend, Monde Chubeka. PHOTOS: Mbongiseni Maseko

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Two separate Khayelitsha families that share the pain and suffering of two of their own have come forward and are appealing to the public for help to ease the strain.

Engie Gabhayi, 39, who lives with albinism, and was recently diagnosed with double skin cancer, says the pain has become unbearable.

She is from Green Point, in the area.

Then there is also the case of Monde Chubeka,53, who suffered a stroke on his right hand side in October 2015.

He has also suffered the double blow of being diagnosed with spinal cord cancer in October this year, apart from already suffering from high blood pressure.

Chubeka is also from Green Point. The two met through Nomsobo Gabhayi, who happens to be Engie’’s sister.

Nomsobo carries the double burden of looking after the two, since they are both bed-ridden.

They all share a one roomed shack, together with four children, one of whom is Engie’s, with the other three belonging to Chubeka, who also stays there.

The families do not own the shack they are living in, as it belongs to a woman who asked them to keep it for her, while she is in the Eastern Cape.

They fear that she may come back and ask them to vacate it.

Nomsobo, who spoke on behalf of the two, said Engie had been kept isolated in hospital because of the seriousness of her condition.

“She cannot get help. We were told to take her to the clinic so she could get her wounds cleaned, but we cannot afford to hire transport for her.

Sometimes I have to carry her to the clinic. The clinic then told me to boil water and put salt and clean her at home after I complained that I cannot afford to take her to clinic every day. I am worried about the children who have to share the bed with her...”

Engie was in visible in pain when City Vision visited them on Tuesday afternoon.

She has festering wounds on her right hand and leg.

Gabhayi was also in visible pain and in no good condition at all, sleeping in another bed on the side of the shack.

They use the bucket system to relieve themselves which Nomsobo has to cleanse on a daily basis.

Nomsobo said they were dependent on the social grant of two children, and have to do with help from neighbours for food.

“The social grants of Engie and Gabhayi are used only for hiring transport for them to the clinic or hospital.

I also have to borrow more money before the month end.

When I get a job, I am forced to leave them with my son (Xolani Duna, 30,) who also suffers from fits and they keep-on giving him problems,” she added.

Duna, Nomsobo’s son, does not have an Identity Document (ID), because she could not produce his birth certificate or his primary school report when she went to apply for his ID.

She said they misplaced those documents long ago in the Eastern Cape.

Nomsobo said she wishes to start a business selling fruits and vegetables so she can be able to put food on the table for the entire family.

She also wishes to get a decent house where her family can live comfortably.

Thando Pimpi, a community leader, said the family really needed help.

“Their condition is very bad. I am concerned about the safety of the children that have to share the bed with Engie whose condition is very bad. They all share a small room with two people who are sick. These are people who really need help,” Pimpi said.

Councillor Amos Komeni, said he was not aware about the family.

“I will ensure that I visit them so that I will see first hand what they need,” he said.

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