Supermarket spreads the spirit of Ubuntu

Delighted Andile Atoli could not believe his eyes when he saw a new renovated house.

His face suddenly lit up, and he came alive as he walked through the kitchen.

Mfuleni home-owner Andile Atoli, 50, is largely bed-ridden and had been in bed for the better part of the day.

He therefore, was unaware of what was happening in his home.

The reason for his excitement as he walked through the kitchen? He noticed something new about his house.

It had been renovated and painted, the roof repaired, electric wires neatly tied up and the kitchen had been stocked with new items, including a stove and a fridge-all thanks to a local supermarket that had decided to help him.

Mr Atoli was hit by car a year ago and has not fully recovered, with his leg scarred by a wound that refuses to heal.

“I am at a loss for words,” he said. “I thought I will one day fix (the house) but it was a far-fetched dream for me. Thanks to Goal for the gesture,” he said.

Ever since the accident, his family of eight had been struggling to make ends meet. The house, once in a state of disrepair, now looks new.

Mr Atoli’s excited mother Emma could only say “UThixo akaphi ngasandla. Cela uzophiwa (Fortune favoured me. Ask and you will be given).

“I was shocked when I heard the news of the renovation. This is humbling,” she added.

The initiative was part of Goal Supermarket’s good deeds in honour of Mandela Day.

Their director, Ben van der Merwe, who was a busy man on the day, having handed over two other houses as well, said the supermarket’s aim was to make a change in people’s lives.

Mr Van der Merwe also handed over renovated and furnished houses to families in Philippi East and Makhaza on the same day.

“Mandela is my hero. I thought we would give something back to the community on his day. We want to make somebody’s life happy. We had some sponsors in to work with us,” he said. The supermarket marketing manager, Lwando Dandala, said they came across the family during a door-to-door campaign in the area, during which they were looking for struggling families.

He said local residents had also helped and highlighted their plight through local workers a month ago.

“We want to impact positively on people’s lives,” he said.

The 51-year-old Ntombentsasa Mayenzeke of Philippi East said she was grateful to the supermarket. “I am so happy, I don’t know what to say. I am not working. I now want to cry,” she said.