THE FACE OF POVERTY
Maonyana Ramadi of Maseetsele in Moshupa was born to be poor.
A daughter of poor parents with no education and nothing much to call their own, Ramadi, 55 already had her destiny cut out for her.
For all her life Maonyana has known the pangs of hunger and the discomfort of sleeping in a mud hut which leaks during the rainy season too well.
The strongest structure in her yard is an incomplete pit latrine in the corner which produces a strong foul smell when the wind blows in our direction.
Lamenting her plight Ramadi says: “I am telling my story with the hope that it will touch some good Samaritan out there who would be moved enough to build me a strong house so I can live in dignity.
I am unemployed except for Ipelegeng which is not reliable employment at all because there are so many of us, you can go for up to three months without a job.”
“I used to sell home brewed alcohol but now the government doesn’t allow it. It used to help a great deal because we could buy food.
What’s worse is that I have four children who are all unemployed.”
Narrating how they ended up among the Moshupa’s poorest of the poor , Ramadi says they moved to the village from Tshwaane lands in 2006.
“We thought life would be better in the village but as you can see we are barely surviving. In Tshwaane we used to live off the land but over time the land stopped yielding any crops due to poor rains so we were forced to move.
My children are not allowed to work under Ipelegeng because the programme enrols only one person per family.”
Some time ago heavy rains badly damaged the mud walls of her hut.She went to the social welfare office but no help came her way so she gave up.
“I need a proper house in which I would feel safe.
I can’t do this on my own. Where would I ever get money to buy building material or to pay a builder?
Asks Ramadi whose name ironically could mean “One with money.” yet she has no cent to her name.
Every time the rain clouds gather I shiver with anxiety wondering where I’m going to run for shelter,” she says tears welling up at the corners of her eyes.
She goes on; “If there is anybody out there who can help me with a house and a stand pipe I would be grateful.
I have been begging for water from neighbours for a long time and I believe they are now growing weary of assisting me.” she says as I follow her gaze to her dilapidated huts which corroborate the story of her pathetic death in life existence.
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