Thembi Manana’s Story - Drieziek 4, Orange Farm
While walking through Drieziek 4 with a group of the community member volunteers, Thembi Manana welcomed us to see her home that was built by Habitat for Humanity during a Build in 1999. Thembi volunteered to assist in the Nelson Mandela International Day Build as she felt that she wanted to give the lasting gift of a home to her fellow community members. Her home has meant so much to her – paying it forward and extending the blessing.
Entering stand 1385, you walk past a chalkboard with today’s menu: dagwood, pizza and chips. Together with her son, Simphiwe, Thembi has started an open-air restaurant – palette tables and chairs sit under an afdak in the corner of her front garden. The first room that you enter is a vibrant red kitchen – this is the restaurant kitchen. As you enter Thembi’s home, you’re hit with the awe that is inspired by the hours of innovative creativity that has gone in to every inch of every room. There isn’t a centimeter of wall or floor that hasn’t been meticulously tiled/painted/decoupaged/considered. From the black and white checkered tiles in Thembi’s kitchen to the egg-box papier-mached ceiling in her bedroom, her home has been lovingly designed – interior décor hacks that pinterest hasn’t even dreamed up yet! A single mother of two boys, Thembi has tirelessly worked to complete every DIY project herself. The pride in her smile as she opens the door to yet another beautifully considered room is beaming.
This home embodies the dignity that Habitat strives for in our strapline. Thembi has certainly ‘loved’ her home – and we thank her for continuing to build, joining hands with fellow homeowners as they begin to realise their dream of a decent place to live.