Michelle Hugo, 68, and daughter Kerryn Hugo, 35, with Antonia Mtambo, 69. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Antonia Mtambo, 69, a pensioner and domestic worker had to brave the elements after a white-ant infestation destroyed her home in Pietermariztburg.

To surprise Antonia with plans to rebuild her home, her employers for over 15 years, Michelle Hugo, 68, and daughter Kerryn Hugo, 35, set up a campaign on donations-based crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to appeal to family and friends to carry out an act of kindness in time for the festive season.

“Antonia is one of the kindest, most gentle souls that I have ever met. She is incredibly modest, and always worries that she isn't able to help me enough. But I honestly don't know where I'd be without her - she's become part of the family! Knowing that the home she built with her family was falling apart, broke my heart... She works so hard to support her family and I knew we had to do something to help her,” said Kerryn.

Antonia Mtambo, 69, a pensioner and domestic worker from Willowfountain, Pietermaritzburg. Picture: Supplied

The campaign went live on 18 October 2018 and raised over R 58 708.45 with contributions from 8 donors, exceeding the initial target of R 45 000.00.

“After not checking the BackaBuddy campaign for a couple of days, I went to have a look, and to my amazement, an anonymous donor from overseas had contributed $3000 and exceeded our target. I struggled to sleep that night, containing my excitement and couldn’t wait to share the news with Antonia!”

In a heartfelt moment, captured on video, Antonia was moved to tears.

Funds raised so far will cover:
* Compacting and preparing the ground for a concrete slab (for the floor/foundation)
* Supplying and pouring the concrete slab
* Supplying and building the outer walls with window and door frames
* Supplying and fitting steel purlins for the roof, and roof sheets

“If we could raise more funds, I'd love to get the interior walls built (the original quote was for exterior walls only, to keep the cost down), and look into organizing plumbing and electricity (if possible). Otherwise, I'd love to get new furniture, to replace that which has also been infested by the ants,” said Kerryn.


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Cape Argus