Babalo Mtshazi’s sisters are so sad they cannot bring themselves to even talk about their brother.
“This has really torn them up inside,” said Nozipho Mtshazi, their mother. “The slightest mention of his name brings them to tears. He loved them so.”
Babalo was one of six children. “I moved to this village because my son had finally gotten a job. I knew then that he would help me build our family a place they could call home. He wanted to build us a big home. He had so many dreams,” she said. The three rondavels and the newly completed flat were all built by her son. Five of his siblings are studying and were dependent on him.
The 26-year-old miner left Nkanga Junior Secondary School in Grade 7 when he became aware that his mother and siblings were struggling to make ends meet. He headed for the mines leaving behind his love of athletics at which he excelled.
“Just over a month before he died we had a house-warming ceremony which he organised and made sure that every person from the village was fed and had enough to drink. That was the kind and generous boy my son was,” added Nozipho.
Her son was never married but was father to two boys: Lisakhanya (3) and Masixole (13). “He loved his boys very much and he was very proud of them,” said Nozipho. – Athandiwe Saba