THAMSANQA, THE BOY WITH WHOM IT ALL STARTED
Every NGO has its own story about when, why and how they started doing the work they do. In case of Thamsanqa (Motherwell / Port Elizabeth), it all started with a little boy called Cheeza. Unfortunately Cheeza didn’t make it, and Tia said to herself: “Let a child never die on me again!” Tia shares her story.
Tia tells: “Round Table No 8 phoned me during April 2006 and asked if I could advise them about the caring of a group of children whose parents died of aids. Those children roamed the streets. Round Table was paying for their food. They wanted to know more about legalising the project. We had regular meetings in the small house where these children stayed. They slept on steel triple bunks.”
“There was this little boy Cheeza Thamsanqa Sixaba. He was 7 years old but looked like a 3-year old. His parents both died of an aids-related illness. When I arrived at the house for our meetings and discussions he would climb on my lap and stay there for the duration of the meeting. He was not moving but lied with his head on my chest. He was very thin. One day when I arrived he was so sick that I had to take him to the Dora Nginza hospital. He was given ARV medicines. The hospital was far from me but I visited him every day. On his release from the hospital, the woman who cared for him was trained on how to give him his medicine and was warned that if she forget once it would be his death.”
“Cheeza went home on a Friday. The Monday morning they called me from the hospital. Cheeza was re-admitted at 4:00 in the morning and died 2 hours later! I could not believe it. At his funeral I gave a speech and said ‘May this never happen to me again. God please, let a child never die on me again.’ That is why we named our project after him; Thamsanqa.”
Thamsanqa means “fortunate, happy, blessed” and that is what we want the children who are now in the Project to be – “totally blessed”.