Byline: Levhuwani Matumba

13 December 2021

The burnt smoke is what one smells when entering the Mathebula home.

This is after their house was damaged by the fire that claimed the two siblings’ brother Mandlenkosi and his nephew Siphosethu last month.

Both Sphiwe and her 23-year-old younger sister are unemployed. Their only late brother was the one who was working, though he only worked for three months before his untimely death.

The family went through a lot this year since it was not long ago that they also buried their mother.

Though they try to be brave, one can still see through their faces that the wound is still fresh.

“We are trying our best to remain positive and hoping that things will be fine one day.

“If one of us can get a job, things will be much better and we will be able to continue where our parents and our brother left,” said Sphiwe.

Sphiwe’s younger sister whose child died during the fire said she sometimes forgets and calls his name.

Currently, they have used old tarpaulin PVC as a roof for their house and they also lost all the windows during the house fire.

Ms Frida Mashinini who is a community member said the family needs help because the way the house is, reminds them of the ordeal that claimed the lives of their loved ones.

“I am pleading with the good Samaritans to step in and help the family.

Should the local businesses or individuals donate paint, cement for plastering, roof timber, and corrugated irons for roofing, we can organize the community to volunteer their time and do the work.

They also need windows and doors,” said Ms Mashinini who also works for an NPO House of Hope Development Centre in Embalenhle.

Sphiwe thanked all the people, organizations, and local companies that helped them to bury their loved ones.

“Through their help, the whole burial process was easy, and we could not believe that we live in a society that still cares,” said Sphiwe who became emotional when she narrated how they were helped by the community.

Those who would like to assist the family can contact the older sister Sphiwe at 079 592 6962.