Australian man calls Alex home

2013-05-07 10:07

An Australian-born man has lived in the Alexandra informal settlement, in Johannesburg for the past 26 years, and has learned to speak Afrikaans, Venda and Zulu.

Beeld reported that James Thomas Michael Ernest Burt II (58) changed his name and became Jimmy Mudau after living in South Africa for more than 38 years when he came here with family as a teenager.

Mudau lived in the United Kingdom during the 1980s while he was married with two children, but he later divorced and relocated to South Africa in 1991 after one of his children passed away.

"I've lived in Europe and Canada but South Africa is my country of choice. I earned my living as a handyman and I lived from hand to mouth but anything is possible here. It’s a fantastic, fun and lovely place.” Said Mudau.

According to Mudau, his friend known as Sputnik gave him a room on her property where he lived and ran a workshop. He owned a double bed, a television set, a handmade lamp and a bathtub.

"Here in the ikasi [informal settlement] you can survive if you have hands and a brain," Mudau told Beeld.

When he first moved into the area, some residents had called him "mlungu" (white person). "I didn't like it and I told them my name was Jimmy."

He told the newspaper he had no intentions of moving anytime soon. "I'm happy here. I've got my health. I'm alive. I eat, I sleep, I'm clean and my time is my own. What more do I need?”



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