Mayor Tshifhango with Ms Sivhaga in front of her shack.
Ms Nndavheleseni Sivhaga will always cherish her 57th birthday as a special one.
Last Friday, a day after her birthday, the blind Sivhaga received a surprise visit from the mayor of Thulamela, Cllr Avhashoni Tshifhango, who donated food parcels and blankets to her. The gift included a 25kg bag of mealie meal, two blankets, sugar, tinned fish, cooking oil and other stuff.
Tshifhango also promised an RDP house to Sivhaga, who is staying alone in a tiny shack.
Born on 28 February 1962, life has never been rosy for Sivhaga as she faced one challenge after another. First, she lost her marriage. Then the passing away of her three children followed, before she became blind in 2004.
Her blindness came on after the death of her younger sister, Christina Mukwevho, in November 1990, the last person she was living with in her one-room corrugated shack.
Since then, Sivhaga has been staying alone in the tiny shack. She walks around the house with the aid of a walking stick and a rope that helps her to find her way from the house to a mango tree that provides shadow for her during high temperatures. She also uses the same system to guide her to a pit toilet built some meters away from her shack.
Since the passing away of Mukwevho, Sivhaga says, she spends most of her day alone in her quiet home. “The only time I have company and find someone to speak to is when the lady who cooks and cleans for me is around. Her service is helping a lot as I cannot cook or do washing on my own.
“It is better because the government is giving me a monthly disability grant that I use to buy groceries for myself. Through Sassa, the government is also paying the lady who is helping me,” said Sivhaga. “I am also humbled by the mayor’s visit. I have few words to express my feelings about the gifts you gave me. I am also humbled by the promise of an RDP house. I have been waiting for too long. I still can’t believe that this is happening,” said Sivhaga.
After the handover of the gifts to Sivhaga, Tshifhango and his delegation proceeded to a local soccer ground where he was meeting the community for an imbizo.
Date:18 March 2019 - By: Ndivhuwo Musetha