Anicè Kruger, mom of well-known burn victim Pippie, is going to work again for the first time since the tragic incident of Christmas eve 2011.
Although she didn’t regard it as a job to take care of the needs of young Isabella, aka Pippie , over the past seven and a half years, Anicè (34) says the time is ripe to join the job market again.
“I wouldn’t change the last seven years for anything, but at some point I probably should be with adults again,” Anicè tells YOU on the phone from Stilbaai, Western Cape, where they’re living in her in-laws’ house.
She’s looking forward to the challenge of managing a coffee shop, which is owned by their church.
“Before the accident I’d worked as a lodge manager and chef. I also was a waiter for six years. It’s been my lot to see to my child’s needs, but it’s time for something different. I’m ready.”
The Krugers’ ordeal touched the hearts of many people over the years after two-and-half-year-old toddler Pippie sustained burns over her whole body when a firelighter gel container exploded at their home in Lephalale during a family braai
Over the years it fell to Anicè to be her daughter’s full-time carer. Her husband, Erwin (46), a professional hunter, was the breadwinner. Anicè patiently bathed, fed and exercised Pipppie for hours and took her to doctor’s appointments. In between she was mom also for the couple’s son, Arno (now 7).
When a vacancy occurred at the coffee shop recently, Anicè immediately felt drawn to the work and the church mangement agreed it was fortuitous.
“It’s a tiny shop called Aroma in Stilbaai West. Very retro and quaint. I think it will be good. I’ll be the face of the shop, not that I’m the best looking, but yes!” Anicè quipped.
She tells us that she and Erwin, who’s still based in Lephalale, have hired a young woman to look after Pippie. “Pippie calls her her ‘nanny’ already.”
Anicè says the new arrangements will be a big adjustment for the family.
“I’m worried that I won’t be with her every day any more. At times I feel I’m the worst mother, but I must do this. For myself and for Pippe. For my own health too,” she explained.
“Last year I hurt my back seriously when I fell over with Pippie in my arms and tried to stop her getting hurt. We should’ve got help long ago but I preferred to do it myself. I just know I must start looking after Anicè.”