Teswell Edwards with the two Florence Nightingales of Karen Court. Picture: Jack Lestrade
Meet the two aunties from Manenberg who are the Florence Nightingales of their flats.

Najwa Elliott, 50, and Claire de Vries, 59, of Karen Court care daily for the sick, elderly and disabled, feeding and washing them and even doing their laundry, cooking and cleaning.

Both are City of Cape Town Community Development Workers (CDW) but receive no payment for their good work.

Najwa has two children and lost her son, Adiel, two months ago after he was shot and killed in Kathleen Court in Manenberg.

When the Daily Voice met the women, they are giving medication to their neighbour, James “Buffy” Sylvester, 62, who was once a well-known singer for bands like Ghetto and Skyff.

Najwa Elliott, 50, of Manenberg. Picture: Jack Lestrade

More than 30 years ago a lung disease led to a tumour on James’ brain which left him partially blind and deaf.

Najwa says James often falls out of his bed when he wants to change his TV channel and needs a bed with a railing, and a remote control.

Claire de Vries and James Sylvester. Picture: Jack Lestrade

“He lives with another person who works, so I see to it that he eats, I bath him, wash his clothing and his bedding. I even painted his room myself, and I also make sure he takes all of his medication,” says Najwa.

The former minstrel says he buys the Daily Voice every day, as well as R20 koeksisters and sweets.

A few doors away, Najwa and Kathleen also assist mom Tania Edwards with her son, Teswell, 18, who was born with hydrocephalus - a condition which causes excess fluid in the brain leading to an unnaturally enlarged head.

Teswell Edwards with the two Florence Nightingales of Karen Court. Picture: Jack Lestrade

Teswell’s head circumference is currently 65cm.

“I have been struggling all the years with my children,” the single mom says.

“I can always depend on these ladies.”

Tania’s eldest son, Gabriel Clarke, 26, who also had hydrocephalus, died three years ago.