True spirit of Ubuntu

2017-11-16 14:01
Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo (left) hands Bhekiyise Mzekandaba the keys to his new house.

Msunduzi mayor Themba Njilo (left) hands Bhekiyise Mzekandaba the keys to his new house. (Nokuthula Khanyile)

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Christmas came early for an Ashdown pensioner on Wednesday who, after years of living in a rundown shack, was handed the keys to his brand new house.

The wheelchair-bound Bhekiyise Mzekandaba (61) received the newly built, fully furnished four-room house from Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo.

Njilo said the project was made possible thanks to a partnership between the municipality, Maritzburg United football club and local business people.

“I am happy that we all came together to help Mzekandaba out of dire poverty. You have shown the true spirit of Ubuntu and have proven that as a community we can do more if we are united. You didn’t wait for the government and that’s commendable,” said Njilo.

During the handover ceremony Njilo called on the public to take care of the elderly and disabled.

“We believe old people should be well taken care of because they are the source of knowledge,” he said.

Mzekandaba shared the bathroom-sized shack with his twin sons Njabulo and Sibusiso and had been in desperate need of better accommodation.

An elated Mzekandaba said he would finally have his own room to sleep in after squatting with his sons.

“The old house was leaking and all our items got wet when it rained. We were almost sleeping in the open. The house was in a bad state. It didn’t have a toilet and we had to use a bucket. We also didn’t have a bathroom and my sons had to use a bucket to bathe me. We did everything in that one room and it was very uncomfortable.”

The pensioner told The Witness that while his sons were at work during the day, he was sometimes forced to remain in bed all day. Njilo also donated a new wheelchair to him.

“I can’t find words to express how grateful I am to everyone who came to our rescue. I will now be able to go out and enjoy the sun. They have given me my dignity back.”

Njilo said the new house was built to accommodate Mzekandaba’s disability.

“We hope the new wheelchair will make it much easier for him to manoeuvre around the house. He will now be able to do things for himself. He won’t have to ask his sons to bathe him.”

He said Mzekandaba was identified by community care givers during President Jacob Zuma’s presidential visit early this year.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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