KNYSNA NEWS - Andile Lefu Ncambe doesn't necessarily believe in bottling things up, but rather in building up a huge bulk of bottles for a good cause. With no money in his pocket and a backyard full of empties, Andile is determined to feed poor children in Nekkies with the money he will get from selling the bottles.
Ncambe, who was born in Bhethuli in the Free State and moved to Knysna at the age of nine, says he knows what it is like to go to sleep on an empty belly.
"When I arrived here in Nekkies, I was welcomed with a cup of soup and a doughnut by the people who used to work at Mad About Art Masizame. I spent my time there in order to have something to eat. Back then we had the support of these people," he says.
Seeing children in Nekkies living the life he was living when he was young has made him relive his childhood.
"Seeing these children is painful and I want to change their lives. I am prepared to do everything in my power to give back to the community that helped me and better the lives of these children," he says.
In January this year, Ncambe started buying empty bottles from children in Nekkies to help them to have something to eat. "I used to collect bottles and cans in Nekkies and sell them. But my business did not go anywhere. When I decided to get back to the business this year, I saw how children were supporting me," he recounts.
He had to use the last R3 000 of his savings to buy the bottles from the children.
"Within less than a month, my storage is full. As an unemployed person it is painful to let kids turn back with their bottles knowing that they have nothing to eat, so I had to make loans just to help these kids get food," he says.
Ncambe, who is a plumber, says he is trying to sell the bottles and intends opening a soup kitchen with the money he will be making.
"Currently I am unemployed, but I do everything to make sure that these children do not go back home with their bottles. I was helped by a soup kitchen and I want to do the same for the children of Nekkies. I am positive that out of the soup kitchen many children's lives will change."
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