When you enter Bulelwa Zembe’s home in E-section, Khayelitsha, the first thing you notice is that the ceiling is riddled with holes and looks like it could come crashing down at any moment.
The 65-year-old sickly Ms Zembe lives with her three children who are all unemployed and their only source of income is her pension.
The house gets flooded when it rains.
Despite these endless problems, Brotherhood Social Club put a smile on Ms Zembe’s face last Saturday when they donated a food hamper to the family. A neighbour had told the club of Ms Zembe’s plight.
Ms Zembe said she was thrilled with the donation as her life seemed to be an endless struggle to survive each day.
Ms Zembe said that for the last two weeks she had been living with her relatives in Gugulethu because she could no longer live in the house.
She was grateful for the brotherhood’s donation. “This might seem like a drop in the ocean, but to me it means a lot. My social grant is not enough. I have no words to describe how I feel, but I live in fear. One day this ceiling and roof will fall on top of me while I am sleeping. I appeal for help. I hope someone could assist me in fixing my roof.”
Ms Zembe urged the club to continue assisting others who had little.
Brotherhood Social Club chairperson Malume Alex Ndlovu said when they had heard about Ms Zembe’s challenges they thought that they should do something to help.
The club does not receive any financial support from anyone and contributed from their own pockets.
Mr Ndlovu said they hoped a good Samaritan would step up and help the family.
He said they wanted to change the negative narrative and perception about men and show they were not all the same.
“We don’t have much, but we thought we should bring whatever that we could. We want to inspire other men to do something positive in their communities. We should inspire young men so that they do not become perpetrators of violence but rather be role models. I appeal to anyone and to local business people to assist this family,” he said.
Neighbour Siphokazi Sonti said as someone who lived close to the Zembe family she could not sit back and fold arms while the family needed help .
Ms Sonti said she hoped that other people who might be able to assist the family would step in and do so because it was painful to see a sickly person living in such bad conditions.