Homeless matriculant finds kind home

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Steven Botsane, Hodisa teacher, Tankiso Monyaki (21) and Nicro Safety Ambassador Co-ordinator, Lehlohonolo Motshabi. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Life has not always been kind to 21-year-old Tankiso Monyaki, a matriculant at Hodisa Technical High School in Rocklands, Mangaung. For years he was physically and mentally abused by his biological mother. “She would often get angered by the smallest thing, and as a child I wouldn’t even now what I had done wrong. She would hit me with anything she could get her hands on. It would get very bad, I even had to get stiches on my head,” said Monyaki.
His neighbour would often hear screams of terror coming from his home and advised him to talk to his school. Soon, social workers got involved and he was moved to a care centre near Bloemspruit, where he lived for almost four years. “They took good care of me, they taught me manners and respect and how to take care of myself. I even became a RCL member at my primary school,” he added.
He was then placed under the foster care of a guardian and her family after she had offered to take care of him, stating that she had always wanted a son. Monyaki says after failing Grade 10, his guardian told him he had to look for a job, but he wanted to finish school. He stayed alone at one of her residences in Phase 9. “I would use a candle at night as there was no electricity. She said she would use my grant money to fix the electricity problem, but this never happened. I didn’t even get a cent from my foster money, not even for toiletries,” he said sadly.
Monyaki then reached out to his school, though he was not very hopeful. His teacher, Steven Botsane, said after consulting with social workers, all they could provide for Monyaki at that stage was food parcels, as he was over the age of 18.
Acting principal, Johan Volsteedt, immediately reached out to Nicro, who did not hesitate in lending a helping hand. Nicro Safety Ambassador Co-ordinator, Lehlohonolo Motshabi, said one day, while they were preparing to deliver a food parcel to Monyaki, business woman, Mokgadi Ditabe, who was visiting the Nicro offices, asked who they were for. After explaining the situation to Ditabe, she offered Monyaki a place to stay at her home.
“I’m speechless. Her family has welcomed me into their home with kindness. We go to church, and I even pray together with her youngest child. Now I can plan for my future without having to worry about were my next meal will come from,” said Monyaki with a broad smile. He plans on either enrolling in the army or becoming an aircraft engineer after completing his matric. – Seithati Semenokane
seithati@centralmediagroup.co.za