The Tuswa family, of Makhaza, found their inner celebrities on Sunday when they were treated to a fancy photo shoot complete with stylish clothes, make-up, free transport, and catering.
The family of eight have been through some tough times, and they share a three-room wreck of an RDP house with a leaky roof, and they don’t have a proper stove, fridge or kettle.
But last month the Tuswas crossed paths with Khayelitsha photographer Teddy Sambu, owner of Teddy Sambu Production, who had posted a message on Facebook about wanting to bring a little magic into the lives of two families in need (“Photographer pleads for help for needy family,” Vukani, January 18).
The Madolo Foundation in Makhaza put him in touch with the Tuswas, and after visiting the family and seeing their dire living conditions, Mr Sambu decided to focus on helping them alone.
Mr Sambu’s appeal through Vukani was answered by several businesses, including fashion designers, hair salons and caterers.
Nosiphiwo Tuswa, 40, the eldest among the family of eight said she was grateful that the day had become a reality and brought some happiness to her family. They had worried that the special day might not happen, she said, because the family had been promised many things in the past that had failed to materialise.
And while the photo shoot lifted the family’s spirits for the day, they still had to return to the reality of their lives in Makhaza afterwards.
“Our living conditions are still very much the same, and nothing has changed. I hope and pray that one day things will change. I hope that good a Samaritan will help us,“ said Nosiphiwo.
“I do feel grateful to Teddy for what he has done for us. May he be blessed more.”
Mr Sambu said he was thrilled that everything had come together for the photo shoot and he thanked the business owners who had helped to make it all possible.
The photo shoot might sound like something small for those who were well off but it had meant a lot to the Tuswas, he said.
“When I got there in the morning, the family was not ready because for years they had been promised things which never happened so they did not want to get disappointed and opted not to get ready.
“They only got ready when they saw us, and it was when they also knew that indeed this is really happening.
“We bought nappies and yoghurt for the children. They never thought, even in their wildest dreams, that they would be pampered with make-up and other stuff.”
He appealed for any help that could be given to the Tuswas to help them overcome the hardships they continue to face.
Nomgcobo Tukulula, who owns Gcogco Clothing Studios and provided shoes and snacks to the family members, said she had wanted to help because she knew what it was like to have nothing and she enjoyed helping others.