By: Yolanda Gabisile Sibeko
As I wait for Linda Twala, father of the nation, as he is known to the people of Alexandra, I can’t help but blush, patiently waiting to sit side by side with the great man himself who is the founder of Phuthaditjhaba, a foundation that distributes food parcels and clothing for those in need in Gomora.
Bab Linda Twala has his grey hair neatly combed back – the moment you enter his house you are greeted by boxes of food parcels and donations of clothing. I get goose bumps all of a sudden and one of the 99 characters unleashed” the happiness character” this has to be one of the greatest moments for the dead writer sitting side by side with the great grey haired Bab Twala who has been serving God’s children for 54 years now without any payment but blessings from God.
It all started in 1967 in St Hubert Catholic Church with Rose Tshabalala’s burial. A funeral that cost Rose Tshabalal’s family nothing at all as it was all handled by Linda Twala.
Rose Tshabalala would often tell Bab Twala that she would be buried by him the day God remembered her and that time he was just an ordinary young man at 21 years of age. He was a carpenter making a living for himself and his family.
The first coffin he made with his own hands was for Mam Tshabalala and because of that today Bab Twala runs a funeral parlour called “Twala ma- Africa that doesn’t just focus on profit but helps bury the less fortunate.
Bab Twala regards the job he is doing as a calling from God. “I am here to offload the burden of the elderly, disabled, disenfranchised, single mothers, fire victims and rehabilitation services for drug users and anyone else God sends my way”, he says.
This journey is indeed a blessing he received from mama Rose Tshabalala because he kept his promise of burying her.
Hundreds of families in Alexandra are fed by Bab Linda Twala and the excitement the van written Phuthaditjhaba brings to children in Alexandra when they see it is beautiful to witness.
He builds homes for the homeless and gives dreams to the children by giving them an opportunity to be what they want to be which is why his main focus is on cleaning up Alexandra, removing the shacks replacing them with proper homes.
A couple of weeks ago a new born baby was abandoned in the streets and was found by an elderly woman and taken to Bab Twala who made sure that the baby was well taken care of and dressed warm – he named the baby Hope.
Bab Twala says it’s due to the lockdown and looting that a lot of people are suffering and he is here to help where he can.
I could write the whole day using different writing techniques to describe the father of nations but the dead writer is humbled by all of this.
I could urge more people to help build others not to gain anything but to make a world a better place. I had more considering all that I’ve been through myself, I would certainly be one of the donors that help the Phuthaditjhaba foundation.
It is not only those in Alexandra that need help but plenty more people do and if the moon could talk it would reveal a lot of secrets hidden in the dark of people suffering.
Bab Twalas 77th birthday celebration is coming up and will be combined with Phuthaditjhaba annual Christmas party and if anyone would like to lend a hand and give a donation please contact Bab Twala on 0824422866 or Gcina Twala on 0664151871
Let’s help make it a memorable Christmas for the less fortunate.