esiGodini community aims to build a home for KZN’s top matric achiever

esiGodini community aims to build a home for KZN’s top matric achiever

KZN’s top achiever Bhekamandaba Makhonza is currently staying in a two-bedroom mud house that is falling apart. His community aims to give him a better life.

Bhekamandaba Makhonza
Bhekamandaba Makhonza/ Video Screenshot

The young star from esiGodini, Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal passed with eight distinctions and got the third-highest physics mark in South Africa.

According to Makhonza’s mother, Kholekile Shange, he is “over the moon”.

The mother says that although she knew he was going to pass, she didn’t expect such high marks. She adds that both she and Makhonza are still shocked by the results.

On Thursday, the pupil from Edendale Tec High School received a heroic welcome from his community.

Members of esiGodini came out in their numbers and sang heroic songs for the star with a banner: “Our own hero. esiGodini location sithi phakama (rise up).”

But what makes Makhonza’s achievement even more special is that he comes from a very disadvantaged background. 

His mother is a domestic worker and the learner says he couldn't afford school fees and uniform, but fortunately, he received financial help. 

His house is also in poor condition.

His mother says every time it rains, their house gets flooded. This is because the two-room house is built on a wetland and is a mud-house. According to Cedrick Mseleku, an inspector from the Department of Education, even the two rooms are falling apart after being hit by lightning in 2019.

Mseleku says after the department visited Makhonzi’s home on Wednesday to congratulate him for his achievement, they were “disturbed by the condition of his residence”.

He said the conditions propelled the community to do something. 

“This child has made us proud as the community of Edendale,” Mseleku said.

He says because of that, as a community they decided: “let’s build a house for this young one as a sign of saying thank you to him.”

Mseleku says they will be building a five-room house where Makhonza and his family can live comfortably. They hope to achieve this by February.

He says they have already received money from businesspeople and members of the community. 

Image courtesy of Twitter/ @Amand_Radebe picture screenshot

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