New lease on life for Ibongwe

Ajax Cape Town FC player, Mark Mayambela, Ibongwes parents Bonani and Vuyiswa Tshambu and Ajax Cape Town player Musa Lebusa in a jovial mood as Ibongwe receives a wheelchair.

After many years of hardship caring for her disabled five-year-old son, Site C mother, Vuyiswa Tshambu, has had a bit of relief.

Ms Tshambu has been struggling to get a wheelchair for her son, Ibongwe, who suffers from a lower limb deformity, which makes him unable to move.

For many years Ms Tshambu has had to carry him wherever she goes as she simply could not afford a wheelchair.

Ms Tshambu told Vukani that doctors at Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital informed her during her pregnancy that her baby would not be able to walk and might not live beyond three years.

The mother of two said doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy if she wanted, but she refused. She saw the child as a gift from God.

After giving birth Ms Tshambu said she noticed that the child was indeed different to other children, but vowed to raise him well.

She has since been in and out of hospital to ensure that Ibongwe grows without any difficulties.

On Friday, Ibongwe’s life changed for the better after receiving numerous donations, including a wheelchair from Ajax Cape Town.

That meant Ibongwe could, for the first time, move freely without his mother’s help.

The club also gave a signed club soccer jersey and soccer ball and promised to take him and his family to the stadium for their next fixture.

Ms Tshambu said they were pleased by the kindness shown by the team and other sponsors.

However, she is still in a battle to to get a decent place to live in and a school for Ibongwe.

“I never heard of this condition until the day the doctors told me about it.

“I don’t regret the decision of keeping my child. Sometimes my child would ask me why he does not have legs,” she said.

Shooz Mekuto, the public relations officer for Ajax, said the team would, from time to time, visit the family to monitor Ibongwe’s progress.

“We know that Ibongwe is a die-hard Mamelodi Sundowns fan and we will try to contact the club to make arrangements to visit the boy,” he said.