Ms Mavis Mankhwe (56) of Mukula photographed at the front door of her new house with the donor, Mr Ndivhuwo Robert Mashau of Marshal Nights (left) and Thulamela Mayor Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango (right).
Ms Mavis Mankhwe (56) of Mukula village is a single unemployed mother, who stays with her four children and five grandchildren.
Her husband, Freddy, died many years ago and since then, life has been a vicious struggle. One of her two mud rondavels was destroyed during the 2000 floods and the family had to stay in one hut for four years.
With the little money she made from piece jobs, she built a two-roomed house from home-made mud bricks for the family, but it was falling apart because she could not buy expensive building material. Nonetheless, the family of nine continued to live in their dilapidated house, because they could not afford anything better.
Last week, Mankhwe and her nine family members were the happiest people on earth when they were presented with a newly built five-roomed house to the value of R250 000 by their businessman neighbour, Ndivhuwo Robert Mashau. With tears of joy running down her face, Mavis could only say: “Ngoho zwe Ndivhuwo a nnyitela ndi nga si zwi hangwe vhutshiloni hanga hothe (I will never forget what Ndivhuwo has done for me for the rest of my life). I’m also happy that the well-wishers who attended the handing over of the house contributed money to buy a new bed for me. Zwa u edela kha thovho zwino yo no tou vha divhazwakale. (The days for sleeping on a grass mat are now part of history.”
Mashau said the building of the house was part of the social responsibility of his company, Marshal Nights. “We specialize in security services and managing resorts, but we feel that it is very important for us to plough back into the local communities. Hence, we decided to build this family a modern house. We will continue to sponsor annual events like the Mukula Day, a fun walk for the elders and the Marshal Resort Soccer tournament.”
He says it was very painful to see Mavis and her family living in abject poverty when he passed by their gate every day. “These people are just 50 metres from my house and every day, my conscience told me that I should do something about their situation. I am happy that I have put smiles on their faces and everything is now history.”
The mayor of Thulamela, Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango, commended Mashau for aiding the municipality in reducing the housing backlog. "Mashau has set a very good trend and we encourage other businesspeople to follow in his footsteps. As a developmental municipality, we need assistance from various stakeholders, including businesspeople, to deliver efficient services to our people."