It took a long “touching” message to a Facebook friend to change the life of a Mfuleni family struggling to survive during the national Covid-19 lockdown.
Sipho Namba was tired of scratching his head to find a way to feed his family of eight.
He decided to write a long message to Khayelitsha’s Nomasebe Dondolo, who is now based in Johannesburg, explaining the pain he and his family are going through.
He described how bad the situation was during the lockdown and how worried he was about their one-year-old daughter who had nothing to eat and no napkins.
The message did not fall on deaf ears. Ms Dondolo put a screen grab on her Facebook wall. And as they say, the rest is history.
Facebookers responded in numbers to provide the little they could. They opened their hearts and wallets to the Namba family.
On the same day, Monday May 18, food was delivered to the Namba home, much to the family’s disbelief.
Mr Namba is among a number of South Africans who say they have not received anything from relief funds set up to help people during the lockdown when many have been unable to work and earn an income. He was working at a garage in Kuils River.
The groceries could at least keep the family eating for a month and a half. With shock and disbelief, wife Portia, screamed: “Yoo, this is unbelievable. Is this really for us? I am not sure whether to cry or laugh. I am shocked.”
The father, also in disbelief, was standing with his hands over his head. “Wagwetywa ndlala. My children will for the first time in this lockdown have something to eat. But I didn’t anticipate such a huge grocery parcel. Thanks to that woman whom I didn’t even know but God sent me to her to ask. May she be blessed. Thanks to her group of friends who teamed up and bought this for us,” he said, holding back what could only be tears of joy.
Around R3 000 was raised for the Nambas and mostly essential goods were bought.
Ms Dondolo thanked those who contributed. The actress said the pandemic has shown how deep inequality runs in the country.
She said it has robbed many people of their dignity.
“Reading the message and the mention of a kid brought me to my knees. I was heartbroken after the head of the house invited me to lend a helping hand. Because I am also poor, I had to make a plan,” she said.
She said she has high respect for her friends who wanted those suffering from the impact of the coronavirus to know they are not alone.
“Money was quickly raised and collected, transferred to Cape Town to get the groceries by my trusty (network) that side of town. We wanted to lift up the man’s spirit and help him not to lose hope of being a man. We are in a challenging period and men are stripped of their dignity. Bless all the hands and hearts that opened and gave, thank you for trusting me with your Ubuntu. May the Divine expand your territories. Makwande,” she said.