WATCH | New beginnings: Cape Town designer gives shelter mom new hope with makeover

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  • Mareldia Davids felt stuck, like she wasn't moving forward in life.
  • A Cape Town fashion designer gave her a complete makeover.
  • The mother of four radiated with positivity after she was pampered.
  • GOOD NEWS DAY IS BACK! News24 celebrates the people restoring pride in our country. Read their stories here

Mother of four, Mareldia Davids from Bonteheuwel in Cape Town, who lives in the Haven Night Shelter in the CBD, felt frustrated and stuck.

The 42-year-old was visiting friends living in a shack next to the Helen Suzman highway interchange in the CBD. Dressed in a grey jogger and a white jersey, she stepped away from the visit and sat on a concrete slab to speak to News24.

"I come here to visit my friends. I'm in a shelter now, not on the street, like in one of these hokkies and stuff," she told News24. 

Davids has four daughters – the youngest is just four years old. She had to leave them with her ex-husband and hadn't seen them in three years.

She is unemployed.

"At the moment, I am not working, but I would like to find another job," she said.

READ | 'I wasn't always this happy': Former Durban drug user recalls how she turned her life around

Previously, she was a hospitality manager at a hotel at the V&A Waterfront and Grand West Casino.

"I need a real boost. There is something just holding me there, and I don't move forward."

Mareldia Davids
Mareldia Davids (42).
Mareldia Davids
Mareldia Davids speaks to News24 before her makeover.
Mareldia Davids
Mareldia Davids outside the Haven Night Shelter.

In Long Street, just a stone's throw away from the highway interchange, WAG Fashion founder and head designer, Sheray Goliath, was looking for a way to celebrate her store's 20th anniversary. She decided to mark the occasion by helping someone in need, using her skills in fashion and style to give them a head-to-toe makeover.

Goliath visited the Haven Night Shelter, where she met Davids.  

ALSO READ | Seeds of change: Non-profit uses gardening to help heal the scars of homelessness

"After hearing Mareldia's story, I decided that we should try our absolute best to instil some confidence in her. Sometimes life just hits you hard, and it's hard to know how to get up again," she said.

Davids spent the morning relaxing and enjoying breakfast in a WAG Fashion apartment while Goliath and makeup artist, Mia Pillay, prepared for the big makeover.

The next two hours were filled with manicures, facial masks and makeup.

Mareldia Davids was given a head-to-toe makeover to help boost her confidence.
Davids' story touched WAG fashion's founder and head designer Sheray Goliath.
Sheray Goliath
WAG fashion's founder, Sheray Goliath.

Davids then had the opportunity to try on several outfits from The Stylist, WAG Fashion's sister store, situated right next door, and chose one to take home with her.

"When Mareldia put on the white outfit that she liked best, she said that she felt fresh and ready to see her kids, who she hasn't seen in three years. I'm so glad that it gave her the boost to feel that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Goliath said.

After the makeover, Davids told News24: "When my friends at the shelter see me, they are going to say wow... They don't know me like this. The whole day was great."

Mareldia Davids
Mareldia Davids' transformation.
WAG fashion in Long Street Cape Town.

On Friday, Davids' social worker, Lucia Petersen told News24 the transformation had a positive impact. 

"When I went to home affairs with her to apply for a new ID document yesterday. She dressed up and her hair was combed out nicely and she put a beautiful white band on," Petersen said.

"I think she is quite proud of the way she is looking; even this morning, she dressed up nicely. There was an overnight change."

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