|Me with the Zondi family at their home in Durban|
After getting briefly lost on our way out of Durban, we arrive at the township where the Zondi family lives. We’re met by Umlum Zondi (not his real name), a smiley and chatty 16 year old. He leads us to his home – three small, yellow and green buildings perched precariously on a hillside by the coast. There’s also a banana tree, a single tap for washing, an outside latrine and two graves below the house where the children’s parents are buried. Although they’re still poor, the people round here are clearly a step up from those in Ndondo Square. Their brick homes are well constructed and they all have running water and electricity.
When Robbie first visited the Zondis in 2006, Kiki, who was 17 at the time, was looking after his younger brother Umlum, then 14 and sisters Banu, 9, and Katie, 8. The children’s father died in 2002 and the boys cared for their mother until she died in 2005, after which they had no one to look after them. Fortunately, the family came to the attention of Isibindi, who provided a child and youth care worker to help out around the house, teach the children life skills, help with homework and provide emotional support.