A 69-year-old grandma from Willowfountain in Pietermaritzburg will see her longstanding dream of revamping her home work out after her bosses employers crowdsourced nearly R60 000 towards renovations.
Antonia Mtambo was living in a home that ended up unsalvageable when white ant infestation destroyed it and exposed her to the elements.
Her employer Michelle Hugo, along with her daughter Kerryn Hugo, decided to set up a campaign on crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy and appealed to family and friends to donate.
Mtambo said: “My child, I am very happy and I have hope that it will never collapse anymore. It has been a long time since I have wanted to fix the house. But I was trying to take my children to school and they died. The eldest died in 2014.”
She said she spoke to the Hugos when her house continued to fall apart.
“I am very grateful to Kerryn and her mom. They have been of assistance to me and I hope God can bless them along with those who donated funds to make my dream come true,” she said.
Mtambo said she became sick when she thought about how she would rebuild her home because she didn’t know who to turn to.
However, she is now hopeful that there will be a change in her life and that her family will have a warm home.
‘One of the kindest, most gentle souls’
“I hope all those who contributed to the crowdfunding will do the same to other people who are in the same situation,” she added.
According to BackaBuddy, the campaign went live in October 2018 and raised more than R58 000, which exceeded the initial target of R45 000.
“Antonia is one of the kindest, most gentle souls that I have ever met. She is incredibly modest, and always worries that she isn’t able to help me enough. But I honestly don’t know where I’d be without her – she’s become part of the family. Knowing that the home she built with her family was falling apart, broke my heart…She works so hard to support her family and I knew we had to do something to help her,” Kerryn said.
The funds raised so far were expected to be used to prepare the ground for the foundation, building material for the outer walls, window and door frames, and material for the roof.
Kerryn described the day that she saw an anonymous donor from overseas had contributed $3 000.
“I struggled to sleep that night, containing my excitement and couldn’t wait to share the news with Antonia!” she said.
If more funds are raised, she would also love to have the interior walls built because the original quote is for exterior walls only.
In addition, she would also love to look into plumbing and electricity and re-planing furniture infested by the ants.
“With the support of my boyfriend Ashley Tarr, Craig Sass from RS Construction, Voices of Pietermaritzburg Angels, Porky’s People, BackaBuddy, friends and family who helped us spread the word, and our generous donors, we were able to take on this task and we couldn’t be more grateful… Thank you,” said Kerryn.