BOROLONG: After a miserable life without a place to call home, Nyaladzi Batungamile, 45, now owns a modern house.
Thanks to Darius Mlambo, 35, now Batungamile occupies a bachelor pad with a bedroom, sitting room, kitchen, and an en-suite bathroom and toilet.
Mlambo’s good gesture started as a cycling trip from Gaborone to Borolong village back in 2016 to raise funds for the construction of the house.
Then, Mlambo and Gunnar Sejlitz, 70, spearheaded the 435 kilometres cycling journey that lasted for a week asking for donations throughout the trip.
Since then, Mlambo did not despair as he kept on asking for donations for the success of the project.
Reached for comment after the handing over of the house last Thursday, Mlambo told The Monitor that he was overwhelmed with happiness, as he managed to seek donations in order to give Batungamile dignity by building her a house.
“Batungamile used to reside elsewhere in the village, even with just friends, hence I found it fitting to give her one of the basic needs being shelter,” Mlambo said.
”As one of our own, even though I did not have money I found it fit to cycle, raise funds and ask for donations to build her a house, which without doubt today has given her dignity.”
He revealed to have found Batungamile without a residential plot, but with the help of the village social workers and the village chief, Israel Molema they contacted Tonota Sub-Land Board and through their intervention, she was allocated a residential plot.
“I could not thank my main sponsor, Manila Investments, and Tabona Mabalane enough as they have been supporting the project from day one, including sponsoring the cycling trip.
“Doing a project like this without money is stressful, but I thank my beloved uncle Fact Lebala, who as the motivational supporter, advised me not to give
Mlambo applauded members of the community together with some local businesses for their support with building materials and free labour for the construction of the house.
“A majority of villagers and local businesses contributed a lot, but sadly I cannot mention them one by one, but I thank them a million times for their good gesture because were it not for them, this project would have failed. Furnmart Furniture donated a bed and wardrobe.
“I had shortage of bricks and the Director of Thusanyo Funeral Parlor donated 800 bricks, Kenneth Modiakgotla volunteered to do labour and electrification works for free, Letso Maila also volunteered to tile the house inside, Kgosi Botogile Padipadi volunteered to do plumbing and the Motswetla family donated a bathroom set and curtains,” Mlambo said, emphasising that the list of people who contributed was endless.
He disclosed that another villager, Ruth Molefhe pledged P2,000 for payment of connection to electricity.
Mlambo cried out for help in order to raise funds to connect water into Batungamile’s yard as she currently walks a long distance to fetch water at the standpipe lugging a heavy pail.
Mlambo’s big dream for his village is to plan a 2,000km cycling trip from Shakawe to Gaborone via Trans-Kalahari next year to raise funds to build a community hall.
“We are struggling without a place to host events here, hence my thinking to cycle to raise funds again this time for donations towards building a community hall,” he said.
Mlambo pleaded with the villagers, especially the youth to learn to support each other and stop the pull-down syndrome for the sake of the development of the village.