By Tafadzwa Nyikadzino
Mwenezi – Impala Car Rental through the Alfred Dondo Foundation yesterday donated foodstuffs, toiletries, blankets and a wheelchair to Dzosai Chihota, a woman who is taking care of four disabled children.
The children’s condition has put her in a situation where she has to spend all her time looking after them as they cannot walk, stand or memorise resulting in her losing her livelihood.
Chihota of Bhonora Village under Sabuku Mutsikwa in Mwenezi has 4 children, Nhamo Gonamombe (29), Sheunesu (26), Rubson (19) and Richard Muchumaili who she is a guardian to.
The children have bent legs and hunchbacks which prevent them from standing or walking, prompting them to crawl every time when the move. They also have difficulties in listening and speaking hence they sometimes rely on sign language to communicate with their mother.
“I gave birth to 5 children who are not disabled before I had Nhamo, Sheunesu and Rubson. So when these three were born, they seemed normal when they were infants. But as they grew up, I started noticing that there was something unusual about them. I started seeing that they could not stand, talk or memorise anything. At that time we could not take them to the hospital to find out what was affecting them so they just grew up like that. Up to now I do not know what made them to be that way,” said Chihota.
“Due to their condition, I spend much of my time here at home taking care of them. I bathe them, take them to the toilet, and do everything for them because they require a lot of attention. Because of that, I cannot leave home to work for my family because the moment I leave, they may be in danger. Things were better when my husband was alive because I had a helper to take care of them. But since he passed away 2 years ago, I am on my own. My relatives do not assist me even when my children fall sick, they do not give a helping hand,” said Chihota.
She revealed that last year she almost lost Nhamo who escaped death by a whisker after one of her houses caught fire when she had temporarily left her children home to run an errand. Although Nhamo escaped, he had visible bruises of fire showing how badly injured he was after the inferno.
“Nhamo almost died last year due to fire. What I do is every time I leave home, I lock them inside so that they do not leave. So back then I had left to do a quick errand when I received news that the house I had left my children in had caught fire. When I returned, the other three had managed to escape but Nhamo was inside. I thank God that I managed to rescue him. He was badly injured but the good thing is that he is alive,” she said.
Chiota said her situation has isolated her from other villagers who discriminate against her and her children for their disability.
“Everywhere I go, I am a subject of ridicule. People discriminate against my children. They say they are not human beings. No one wants their children to associate with mine because they say it’s disgusting. When my children would go to other homesteads, my neighbours would come to tell me to keep them in my yard as they did not want to see them at their houses. I want to thank the government for erecting a fence around my yard so that my children will not leave my yard. I do not want them to be exposed to discrimination,” she said.
Impala Car Rental Brand Manager Tracy Ngoma said they were moved to offer assistance to her after they saw her story on a report that was made on ZBC TV news by Josephine Mugiyo sometime this year showing their situation.
“We found out about this family on ZTV news. The story touched us and as an organisation we were pushed to come here to provide the assistance we could offer. It is one of our core values as a company to support the needy in our surrounding communities through the Alfred Dondo Foundation. Today we brought groceries, toiletries, blankets and a wheel chair. We hope more people will be touched and moved to help her as well,” said Ngoma.
Chihota expressed her gratitude after receiving the donation and thanked the Foundation for remembering her. “I want to thank Impala car rental for the donations they have made today. I am happy that they remembered me today, especially with blankets and soap. We are now in winter and my children will be warm. The soap will help me keep my children clean because they spend most of their time crawling. So I have to wash their clothes on a daily basis. I encourage them to continue doing their good work to other people in need like myself and may God bless their business operations,” she said.