Mhlonishwa is an 11 year old boy who began having pain in his back some years ago. This deteriorated until he could no longer walk. He was at Lusiba Primary School in Grade 2 at the time.
His family took him to many doctors at King Edward hospital in Durban and in Pietermaritzburg but nothing could be done. He was left paralysed. When we first visited him he had been sitting at home, in his family rondavel for 3 years. Many of the school children used to bring their homework to him to do after school. His teachers tell us that he is a very bright pupil and loved school. His dream was to return to school.
Thanissara decided that part of the proceeds raised at her poetry evening in Durban would go towards buying a wheelchair for Mhlonishwa. The family were thrilled to hear this and went to great lenghts to cut out a one metre wide, one kilometer long path from their homestead to the road for him. Mhlonishwa has been back at Lusiba Primary School for a year now and never misses a day of school regardless of the weather.
Sadly Mhlonishwa passed away on the on the 9 July 2003, aged 12. He apparently had a TB infection which persisted for some time.