By Yolanda “the dead writer” Sibeko
September 24, the day that highlights South Africa as a rainbow nation, rich in heritage. It was a beautiful day indeed, filled with black, white, yellow, green and various beautiful traditional gears worn by the beautiful people of Mzansi.
From one corner to the next hearing the sounds of different languages, South Africa is indeed a beautiful home. The day was about embracing being South African, embracing our heritage and our different backgrounds.
Twala ma Africa as he is known to the people of Alexandra aka Gomora is indeed a stallion of Alexandra always there to give hope and courage to the shattered. Linda Twala was doing what he does best not to gain fame or to be well known.
I decided to go celebrate my heritage day at the ” Epic heritage celebration” held at the Thusong hall 12th Avenue Alexandra a function organised by bab’ Twala but on my way there I was stopped by a young mother who needed help.
She asked me to help carry her 2-months old daughter.” I need to move my bed and other property”. To where I asked?
All she said was she and her three children were kicked out last night. I was saddened by that, being a mother I too went through that experience- I was homeless, had nowhere to go while the father of my children had everything. Unlike her I had nothing all we had was the clothes we had on and like her my son was 2 months old.
Same script but different characters! I really wanted to know where she was going but she just handed me a piece of paper that had an address “take my children and go there I will meet you guys there.
It really didn’t matter that I didn’t know her – all that mattered was getting these children out of the streets. Being familiar with Alex I was able to get to that destination. I was welcomed by an elderly woman who looked frail and tired – she knows these kids I realised.
“Let’s go to back”, she said and through her passage we reached to the other side and there a shack was being built – I had so many questions – but who do I ask?
I waited patiently for the young mother to come so I could leave her kids unharmed – knowing the world we live in, we need to protect our children. The moment she walked in with two other gentlemen carrying her belongings her kids smiled.
The unknown elderly woman left us and went back to her house. I used that opportunity to ask her if this was her home. “Yes she answered; I was picked up this morning by this gogo she said”
She offered to build me shack, she asked for nothing and wanted nothing.
‘Do you know her?” I asked; “no”, she said “we are total strangers”. This reminded me of the verse in Matthew 6 verse 2-4 says “when you do something for someone else don’t call attention to yourself when you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks, just do it quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love working behind the scenes helps you out.
Now my story of celebrating our heritage turned into a story about Johanna Matsu Sefolo – the grey haired frail elderly woman. I guess it was a change of plans – this now defines our heritage as our children – this becomes a story of Ubuntu.
On gogo’s wall were certificates from the community. Johanna Matau Sefolo the founder of TJ community children. She runs from her house, collecting food and ensuring that they are clean, providing them with food and entertainment by watching television and video tapes at her home every day.