Three Mthatha orphans who lived in a dilapidated mud house without windows have now moved into a new brick and mortar home thanks to local builder Themba Makhubele.
Makhubele first came across the Mboniswa siblings – Nosiviwe, Onezwa and Sivakele – after a friend told him of their plight.
The house which their deceased parents had left them was barely habitable, but they had nowhere else to go.
They had only two beds, one for Sivakele and one for the two sisters. Their kitchen utensils consisted of five spoons, one plate and what used to be a spiral stove with just a few wires to connect to electricity.
Their shocking living conditions are now a thing of the past after they moved into their new two-bedroomed house this week.
After the Daily Dispatch published the story and Makhubele’s efforts to help them, members of the community came forward offering their assistance.
Aurora Goddard of East London and her sister Paula Boniface donated curtains, crockery and other household items for the siblings.
Goddard said Paula had posted an appeal for help on Facebook and other people responded and donated more items.
On Thursday, Makhubele collected a lounge suite, a stove, tables, a bed and other items from Goddard which were donated by her family and friends.
“We are still receiving more,” she said.
Two chests of drawers and a bed were donated by community members in Mthatha.
For the siblings, the past few weeks have been surreal for them.
“I am grateful to bhut’ Themba for what he has done for us and for everyone who assisted.
“This is the first time for me to have my own room. I am excited,” said Sivakele.
Onezwa, who is still hoping to receive a call from Walter Sisulu University where she had applied to pursue an undergraduate degree, said the house was a dream come true.
“I cannot even express how I feel. I am overjoyed. In the past when I walked from school with my friends I would walk past my house and not show them. Now I am able to show where I live,” she said.
“When we lived in the mud house we had to put up with leaks when it rained and be worried about whether the house will collapse. In this new house, we have peaceful sleep. All our problems have been answered,” said Onezwa.
Makhubele said he had not anticipated any response from the community.
“We had donations from East London and Mthatha. People were just willing to assist. I am amazed. I was not expecting this kind of response. I am also grateful to my family for supporting me in this project even though they are far away in Limpopo,” he said.