Blind World Magazine

Republic of Botswana.
Motaung still hopes his dream will come true.

October 07, 2005.

GATHWANE - Visually impaired Johannes Motaung, 72, has not lost hope that his dream will one day come true and someone will build a house for him.

I will take my hope to the grave if no one comes to my rescue, says Motaung popularly known as Dog in this village in the Southern District.

Born in Gathwane in 1933, Motaung attended the United Mission School in Mafikeng up to Standard Two.

As a son of a peasant, I had no funds to continue with my schooling besides maburu (Boers) thought it was dangerous to educate black people. It was enough if we could count only up to 100.

Failure to continue with school compelled Motaung to find a way of surviving and returned to working.

Life was difficult as farm workers were paid with food rations and we had no remittance to send home, Motaung says.

After realising that life was bad in Mafikeng, Motaung returned to Gathwane, hoping for greener pastures.

He also wanted to start a family. Talking about family Motaung looks sad because of the emotion caused by bereavement that befell his family long time ago.

We were a family of six and I am the last born, all my brothers and sisters died early in their lives and I was left with no one to call a family, remarks Motaung.

I dont have nephews, nieces nor grand children, thats why people call me Dog. The name means I dont have any family, I am just alone like a dog.

To explain how his family perished Motaung says they were bewitched by people who were jealous of them because they were among the few that attended school.

Having no family is difficult for Motaung. He works for himself. His left eye is blind and the right eye is partly blind.

The shack that Motaung stays in is made of rusted corrugated iron, worn out blankets and plastics.

He has no bed and the shack is dirty and dusty.

Motaung says when it rains everything in the house gets soaked because the shack has holes every where.

The youth committee in the village once tried to build a house for him, but he says they have since disappeared.

They came and dug the foundation and my hopes were raised only to be crushed when the work stopped without explanation.

He however thanks the government for food rations saying poor peoples lives were saved.

This is an effort that need to be congratulated, he says. Despite all these, Motaung still clings to the hope that one day he will have a decent shelter. BOPA

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