Mom and daughter surprise their domestic worker with a new house for Christmas!

My mom and I wanted to try and help her build a new house, where she’ll be safe and protected from the elements…


Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (22 December 2018) – Antonia Mtambo, (69) a pensioner and domestic worker from Willowfountain, Pietermaritzburg, was living in a home that become irreparable when a white-ant infestation destroyed her home and exposed her to the elements.

To surprise Antionia 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” – says Kerryn.

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 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” – says Kerryn.

In a heartfelt moment, captured on video, Antonia was moved to tears by the kind gesture.

Funds raised on the BackaBuddy campaign thus 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.” – says Kerryn

Thank you message from Antonia:

“With the support of my boyfriend, Ashley Tarr, Craig Sass from RS Construction, Voices of Pietermaritzburg Angels, Porky’s People, BackaBuddy and our generous donors, we were able to take on this task and we couldn’t be more grateful” – says Kerryn

If you would like to support Antonia in building her new home, donate on BackaBuddy here.


Michelle and Kerryn were successful in their crowdfund and able to build a house for Antonia. Antonia lived in her home until her passing in 2021. She was blessed with two years of comfort and protection and was able to leave a safe space for her own family upon her passing.

Sources: Backabuddy
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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