Caring for a community from her wheelchair

This article was submitted to ROLLING INSPIRATION by Rosette Matlala from Tshwane Capital

Elizabeth Tenyiko Mathebula from Hammanskraal (Suurman) was struck with polio when she was six-years old, which affected her back and legs. Soon after discovering her condition was permanent, she began designing curtains, table cloths and jerseys for her community.

When her eyesight deteriorated, she decided to become a nanny. As her reputation as an efficient nanny grew, more and more children were brought to her for care. In 2007, she started a pre-school, named the Khutsong Day Care Centre.

“I realised that I have life and I need to take care of myself – not by begging on the streets, but by working hard,” says Mathebula. To supplement her income, she planted a vegetable garden, which included fruit for the children.

As time went by, the activities of the Khutsong Day Care Centre also featured cultural dance and drama for the children. Mathebula continues to care for the children in the community and plans to build a shelter for the homeless ones.

“My condition will never kill my self-confidence in whatever I do,” she concludes.

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