The Midweek Sun
HELP GRANNY Helpless 72-yearold worries about her next meal
Uneasy about her ‘evil’ neighbours who poisoned her dog Says Gaborone-based son doesn’t take care of her Thieves have stolen her only source of livelihood - goats
Drinking clean water is just a dream for Bonyana Sebetlela, a 72-year-old woman who lives a painful life and is pleading for help from Good Samaritans. The Midweek Sun was called and directed to Sebetlela’s compound by people who reside in the same area with her, saying that they have observed Sebetlela, the old woman, fearlessly and hopelessly living in the bushy area alone, relying on her dog for security.
According to neighbours, Sebetlela is always attacked by thieves and they are concerned about the old woman’s life. Sebetlela is said to never visit any of her neighbours, but prefers to stay inside her compound all the time. The neighbours only see her when she walks to the water stream pushing a wheelbarrow to fetch water which they say is not good for human consumption. Upon entering her compound in Nneneke ward in Kanye, Bonyana was seated alone, holding her chin, beside the worn out mud house, wearing a pink jersey and torn skirt. She literally had no idea about her next meal. The old looking Sebetlela revealed that she was born seven decades ago in Kanye hospital and never bothered to apply for a plot in her entire life. She chose to stay where she currently lives, with her blind mother who later died. “I looked after the family livestock, I have never worked before,” she said. When asked about her children, Sebetlela said she has only one grown-up son, who never buys her groceries. “I have tried calling his number, it does not go through. He stays in Gaborone and he long promised to build a house, it has been years now,” the old woman cried. She revealed to The Midweek Sun that her life becomes a nightmare during windy and rainy seasons, saying even dangerous insects crawl into the mud hut. When asked why she does not interact with her neighbours, the old woman said her neighbours are evil people who poisoned her dog recently. “I fear to be poisoned too, the other day my dog came home foaming at the mouth and died instantly,” Sebetlela said. She walks a long distance to get water and she pushes a wheelbarrow all the way to the stream.
She lamented that most of her goats, which were her major source of income, have been stolen by thieves. “I could sell a goat and buy groceries, thieves have stolen all my goats and I suspect the neighbours!” Sebetlela said. When asked about government poverty eradication schemes for old people, Sebetlela said government officials long promised to care of her mother, who even died still waiting to be assisted. She pleaded with Good Samaritans, to build her a house and make her dream of consuming clean water, a reality.