Nozibele (the boys cousin) has been up to the Department of Social Development and the Magistrates Court in Mqanduli 5 times to attend meetings regarding the boys orphan grant application. They eventually fingerprinted her in early January and we are now waiting for her phone to beep, to confirm that their ‘long overdue’ monies have been paid in.
Unfortunately Thobile and Lukholo’s school reports were not good. Lukholo has to repeat grade 3 and Thobile was only condoned to grade 3 because of his age. The boys are behind in their school work and this definitely has to do with the boys’ poor school attendance. Mbulelo passed very well.
The Department of Home Affairs came to the Coffee Bay area twice in 5 months for people to apply for Id’s, birth certificates etc. When they came down the first time, it was a rather rainy day, and we were all quite surprised that they had come down at all! At about 12h30, in the pouring rain, Ninty and I made our way to Bom Bom’s place, where the Department was situated. As we neared the place, mama Pat came past and told us that the guys had already packed up to go, and there were heaps of people waiting for assistance. Damn!
In early Feb, they came down to Pato and Madakeni schools. Ninty and I got there at about 11h00 and there were about 130 people in the queue. Due to other commitments, I would not be able to stay with Ninty in the queue all day. I handed him all the necessary documentation and said I would see him later. He returned the next day and said that they would not help him, as he did not have a birth certificate. We know that! Home Affairs in Mqanduli had given me a form to give to Ninty’s first school to fill out – this form was in lieu of a birth certificate, and we had the completed form! So Ninty is still ID bookless, which means I REALLY DO have to go with him to Mqanduli!
During the December holidays, all 4 boys spent a large amount of their time at Coffee Shack. I had a holiday programme in place for them, which included picking up litter, doing maths on the computer, surfing, worksheets, going on daytrips and interacting with guests. Thobile was kept busy taking guests fishing and surfing with everyone who left the campsite gate with a board under their arm…..that is why he has been entered into a groms surf competition in East London on 07 March 2010 – nice one Thobile!
It was during this time that I fully observed how desperately these boys were lacking a role model in their lives, and someone who could teach them life skills and show an interest in them……I was doing what I could, but my plate was very full, and I did not have any extra time.
The boys need to go and board with a mama! I contact Nomapuzi’s sister in-law again, and she said that she would still be happy if the boys came and boarded with her. I contacted Nontolwana (their aunt) and asked her if she was still happy if the boys went and boarded with a mama – she said she would really appreciate it. I also spoke to Nozibele (their cousin) and she said it was a very good idea. I contacted Social Development on the 19th of January to arrange for them to come down and have a meeting with the various people concerned. Between 19 January and 11 February 2010, I contacted Social Development in Mqanduli 10 times to try and organize this meeting! On the 11th, Ms Luchiti eventually confirmed a meeting for 25 Feb at 10h00 at Coffee Shack!
The boys have become good friends with a lovely family that moved into Four Winds Guest House. Charlie and Robin have 3 of their sons with them and the boys range from 5 yrs old to 15 yrs old – and Robin has home-schooled all 7 of her children! Ethan, their 15 year old son and Thobile are good surf mates and friends, and Ethan is a wonderful influence and mentor for Thobile. The boys’ have overnighted with the family twice and are having wonderful experiences with them – thank you guys!
Kate, a very good friend who returned to Coffee Bay in December and came to help me with the pre-school, has also played a very positive role in the boys’ lives. She has taught them how to take photo’s with her very snazzy camera, and Mbulelo has really taken a liking to the camera, zooming in and out, changing to black and white and he has produced some lovely photo’s – see below.