Philippina Mabuntana

Philippina Mabuntana was a health educator at a mission hospital and went to 60 villages to oversee health care. She started many projects to help uplift the lives of the people there. This woman's story tells the story of the women of Transkei.

Activist and health educator Philippina Mabuntana refused to allow the people in her community be deprived of education and health care during apartheid. Philippina raises her daughters' children because the modern young women want to continue their education and begin careers. Mabuntana consoles a patient in hospital when Mabuntana and church members visited the wards. Mabuntana and a teacher at the village preschool examine the harvest in the preschool garden where vegetables are grown for feeding the children. Mabuntana has started a dancing group for the local young people and has brought the women from the pre-natal clinic to watch them practice. Mabuntana and a nurse consult with a grandmother who has brought a child to the rural clinic Mabuntana started. Transkei  1988  Philippina Mabuntana and a nurse check a baby’s weight at a rural clinic created by Mabuntana.
Philippina Mabuntana and a teacher sing with children in a rural village preschool created by Mabuntana and supported by the community. Mabuntana carries a young man who has AIDS to his mother’s home in a rural village when the transport could not continue.

Kwam e Makana

The Kwam eMakana (Home Stay) project for Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela, was a project for the economic upliftment of women in the Bizana and Grahamstown locations by turning their homes into bed and breakfast businesses.

Eastern Cape Premier Nosimo Balindlela stays in a rural home near  Bizana.“The road to the Kale house in Mhlanga Village is so poor even  the cows are protesting. The nearest water tap has been broken for ten  years so water must be fetched from the river 800 metres down a steep  hill. The toilet is outside, the electricity is unpredictable, there is  no landline and the cell signal stops at the door. So why would the  Premier of the Eastern Cape Province stay here while she hosts Members  of Parliament from all over South Africa?”

House for Mama Grace

The community unites and organizes the building of 2200 houses themselves.

Mama Grace spend most of their time with family who live in nearby Atlantis and attend church every Sunday there. They have lived in a shack in Witsand for 12 years and await the building of the house assigned to them. Grace is well known throughout the community, affectionately, as Mama Grace. Her skills as a translator were invaluable to the housing committee when they held workshops. This time the WEHBSO builders will be building on their own, without a professional contractor at their side. A house is the sum of the hands that built it. A home is the spirit of those who dwell within. The power of the toyi toyi is in the unified pounding of hundreds of feet to primitive invisible rhythm. The committee achieved it's goal: building can now move forward. Her first words to a visitor: Come and see my toilet!
The old shack is demolished on the same day as the move in order to prevent the development of more shack dwellings. The goal is to have a shack-free community. A family in Witsand squatter community uses an imbaula, which produces noxious smoke  to heat their home. A scene from the Witsand Squatter community. Residents of the Witsand Squatter community must fetch water from public taps. A Witsand resident works on the floor of a home as part of the house building project. Residents were trained in building skills by professionals.

Shack Dwelling

Shack dwelling is not by choice. Shack dwelling is not for the faint-hearted.

Resilient individualism lurks in corner shops with hand painted signs and plate glass windows embedded in the buildings built with discarded recycled factory pallet wood, corrugated zinc, plastic sheets and ingenuity. Daily life continues in shack locations despite the harsh conditions. A youngster on the street with a toy gun and a puppy. Flimsy and dangerous illegal electricity connections are strung throughout the location. Fuel is whatever will burn. The use on mbaulas for heat results in respiratory illness among many residents.<br />
There is no indoor water or sewerage. Residents rely on public taps and toilets in their daily lives. The water must then be transported in pails to the shack, usually atop a woman's head.

Community Action

Non-violent community-based contributions of the residents of several South African communities to the struggle for liberation from apartheid - providing education and health care.

Witsand Squatter Community mama Grace and her husband David in the house built by David. The community organized and built solid homes for the residents. 1990 Cape Town A child is weighed in at a township Nutrition Clinic set up to help with malnutririon issues. 1990 Cape Town  A volunteer teacher leads her class in song in a school built by the township community. The government was not building schools for the squatter communities. 1988 Cape Town  A volunteer teacher leads her class in song in a school built by the township community. The government was not building schools for the squatter communities 1990 Cape Town A mother feeds her child in at a township Nutrition Clinic set up to help with malnutrition issues.


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