Christmas comes early for a Mooiplaas family

GIFT OF GIVING: The Qhajana family are overwhelmed as they enter their newly-built and furnished rondavel home in Mooiplaas, outside East London. From left, are Lindiwe, Nokwandisa (mother) and Veliswa, right Picture: AMANDA NANO

Christmas has come early for a family of five in Kwa-Makhazi village in Mooiplaas after they were gifted a fully-furnished rondavel.

Kholisile and Nokwandisa Qhajana, along with their two children Veliswa and Lindiwe, as well as their grandchild, are dependent on a grant to survive.

A visibly emotional Kholisile was at a loss for words upon seeing the furnished rondavel, which includes fencing, a water tank and an outside toilet.

“You have helped us a lot together with our children. “We want to give a big thank you to everyone,” he said.

“We are we beside ourselves with happiness and are grateful for all those who helped build us a new home.”

Despite recently having electricity connected to their old mud house, it was cold and the roof leaked when it rained.

“We had been living in this [mud] house for about three years now. My family house we lived in previously was near the beach and far from the road, and my wife had suffered a stroke,” Kholisile said.

Build It East London owner Lyndré Marais-Meyer said the cost of the new rondavel was not within their budget, so they had sent e-mails to all their suppliers and it snowballed from there.

“Our staff also took a collection to assist in buying furniture for the home,” Marais-Meyer said.

She said it was important to give back to the community.

Popular radio station DJ, Mantofontofo (real name Sithembele Thomas) facilitated the project. The Mooiplaas-born Mantofontofo said he noticed the house while attending a relative’s funeral.

“I battled when I started the project as there was no water. I also sent a message to Build It East London to assist with some of the material,” he said.

The new house has three beds, cutlery, a fridge, as well as other new household items for the family.

“Things will now look up for us. We have electricity and we will not get sick or cold anymore,” Nokwandisa said.

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