World Cup joy for Impendle woman

2010-07-09 00:00

THE prophets of doom, who said the World Cup would only benefit the rich and famous, will have to swallow their words following the high praise for the event of a Hilton domestic worker.

Margaret Shelembe of Efikesuthi in Impendle, who has worked for the Evans family for 28 years, helped host two Norwegian couples in their home.

“We are grateful that we are hosts of the 2010 World Cup because it has brought joy in our lives,” said Shelembe.

Hilton travel agency owner Jane Evans said the contact began when a group of Norwegians visited Thabo Dladla’s football academy last year to offer sponsorship.

“When they went back to Norway they must have recommended us to their friends so that we could host them for the World Cup period.”

David and Jane Evans were eager to share their South African experience with Ola, Ida, Bente and Cornelius, the Norwegian couples. After touring with them to various luxurious midlands resorts, the Evanses took them to Shelembe’s homestead in Impendle.

“We wan­ted them to have a good picture of what South Africa is made of and we wanted to show them what rural life was all about.

“It was not a commercialised visit. However, [the Norwegians] loved every moment of their trip to Impendle. They have offered to build a home for Shelembe and help finance tuition fees for Thabile, her niece,” she said.

Evans and her husband have been motivated to help Shelembe build huts in Impendle to host South African and foreign tourists who wish to learn more about rural life.

She said there is untapped economical potential in the tourism sector that can transform South Africa.

“We felt that helping Margaret build huts will also help establish her small business,” Evans said.

Shelembe said: “The Norwegians were very nice and friendly people. After seeing that we live in a mud home they offered to help revamp our home. They also despised the way we fetch water, so the Norwegians proposed to help us install proper water facilities. They even cried when they were leaving. They said they will come for more South African experiences.”

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