Thandeka Mathenjwa

My name is Thandeka Mathenjwa and I am 35 years old. I am the third daughter and fifth child of my mother and father ‘s seven children. My name means to be loved. I have two children, my daughter Nothando is twelve and my darling son is six years old. His name is Khetokhuhle.

Thandeka Mathenjwa and FamilyMy father died when I was 12 years old and my mother had to work very hard to let us continue with our education. My Youngest sister Celiwe and I are the only children that complete our education to the highest level at school. My mother died in 2001 and now I am an orphan. When people complain a lot about being an orphan I tell them that they do have eyes, legs, hands and a mind and that they should thank God, for He knows why He gives difficulty or why He gives joy. My hope in Him is the one thing that takes me through hard times.

Beautiful Ingwavuma is a hard place to survive with no income. When times were hard I ploughed (hoed) the fields, carried water or chopped firewood for my neighbours. I volunteer as an adult education teacher at the one local High School. Being able to earn an income from my art is a high point in my life. It gives me pure joy to see my own work being admired and it makes me feel special.