Candy Tsa Mandebele feels lucky to be alive – ‘I was shocked I managed to drive a car in that state’

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Candy Tsa Mandebele says she's grateful to God for surviving a terrifying experience on a pothole-riddled road.
Candy Tsa Mandebele says she's grateful to God for surviving a terrifying experience on a pothole-riddled road.
Instagram / Candy Tsa Mandebele

Ordinarily, she'd want to take her little granddaughter along to keep her company on the drive to town.

This time actress and musician Candy Tsa Mandebele decided to leave the girl behind, thinking it would be a quick trip to the mall then back home.

As she relives the experience she had on the pothole-riddled route she took on her way back home from the mall that scary day, she's grateful she was alone. 

“I was coming from home going to Tzaneen Mall," the Giyani Land of Blood actress says. "It happened that I used a road with potholes in between what is called Tjia Pata [road] which is the main road to Modjadjiskloof. There is a road in-between with so many potholes.”

Read more | Villagers fix giant potholes themselves

The road has been riddled with potholes since December, according to the actress who says, “From when I am here at home, I used to see it since December. And it is a road that you cannot avoid because it leads to town.

“That day I was supposed to travel with my granddaughter because I love to travel with her most of the times, but I decided to leave her behind because I was not going to do anything hectic in town. I told her to stay, and she was happy that I can leave by myself. So, when I was listening to the radio [while driving], I couldn’t hear anything at all when I got the puncture,” she recalls.

Candy is now pleading with elected officials to deliver on their promises to improve road conditions following what could’ve been a horrific accident after driving on a terrible stretch of road that nearly resulted in her car overturning.

She wasn't driving fast and couldn't hear much as she was listening to the radio on a high volume. “But the time I wanted to increase my speed maybe to 80km/hr, I could feel that the car [was shaking]. It is as if there is wind, and then immediately when I started to doubt, I turned off the radio to listen carefully what could be the problem; does the car have a problem? And I could not hear anything.”

Candy realised after driving for another kilometre that her car was moving with difficulty. “I could hear that the car is having difficulty with moving, the radio was completely off, and this time I was trying to listen carefully as maybe because it is the SUV cars, they can perhaps maintain balance.

"Little did I know that the tyre blasted and the car is moving with a rim and a piece of the tyre. You can see on the pictures that it was struggling, I then suddenly stopped,” she explains.

The Giyani Land of Blood actress tells Drum that she is grateful to the Lord for intervening in what could have been an accident. “I was so shocked that how did I manage to drive a car in that state. I am just grateful to the Lord for saving my life.

"It was at that time (when she'd stopped the car) when I met Appreciate Mokwena. He said, 'Rakgadi what is happening?' And, immediately, I showed him that my tyre blasted. And he also checked. He told me that I was very fortunate.

Read more| Candy Tsa Mandebele remembers her late son - 'It's not like losing a husband'

“He immediately went to a store nearby that fixes tyres and called people from Modjadjiskloof, who were able to come and change the tyre. So I was extremely safe. I still cannot believe that I survived the incident, I do not know how to put it but the way it was, the car would’ve overturned,” she says.

Candy is calling on elected government officials to deliver on the promises they made to the public during the elections to prevent such incidents happening again. “They said they will help the public. It should start on the roads because parents transport their kids to and from school, and everyone else who goes to work make use of the roads.

“Roads are like water they hold the public’s livelihoods, so they (officials) should just keep their promises and work for the public. Their work should be visible – not only after what I have experienced, but it should be done already," says the actress.

The potholes are reportedly being repaired, she adds. "But they are busy working on it not because of me, it was time for them to fix it. But they should keep their promises because we depend on them. So if you are a councillor of an area, make sure you deliver the promises according to the way you promised during the voting.”

This year there is more that fans can expect from the artist, she shares, saying that they just finished shooting new episodes of the SABC2 telenovela she stars in.

“Right now, we have completed shooting Giyani Land of Blood. I also released a single called KwaZulu produced by Dr Sipho Sithole that dropped very late before the New Year,” she adds.

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