Photo Credit: I Have A Name

Due to the pandemic and many losses, Bongi has been selling her furniture to keep a roof over her son’s head; generous sponsors have furnished her home again and she has the chance to find a job too!


Johannesburg, South Africa (26 May 2023) – D from I Have A Name, shared a beautiful story about Bongi and her son Enzo. They went from sleeping on the cold floor of a single room after selling all their thing to survive, to having a furnished home filled with comforts again!

Three months ago, D shared their story and so much has changed. D who prefers to remain anonymous, runs the I Have A Name Facebook page where she shares the stories of everyday people living in Northern Johannesburg. Her page has become a place where people are loved and supported.

D met Bongi in February 2023 and shared her story, which you can read in its entirety here. Bongi had a very difficult childhood after losing her brother in a shack fire. Her mother was left broken by the loss and sent Bongi and her siblings to live with family. During these years, Bongi faced unimaginable hardship and abuse. When her mother returned, she took the children away but unable to care for them, placed them in the care of the state. Bongi was able to access counselling and support to help her deal with her traumatic youth and she went on to finish school and study tourism.

According to D, Bongi was finally able to uplift herself from a life of poverty. Life was going well; she met a man she trusted, they started a family and worked towards giving their son Enzo the best life. Then the pandemic arrived and changed everything!

Bongi lost her job in tourism due to the lockdowns and her partner succumbed to Covid-19. Shortly after this loss, her partner’s family claimed everything she owned, including taking her son from her. Bongi has had to fight tooth and nail to get Enzo’s back but thankfully, she got him back. She then joined Project Purpose and has been slowly rebuilding her life.

D’s plea was sent out to help Bongi and Enzo recover all that had been lost. Bongi had slowly been selling off what little they had, in order to keep a roof over their heads. This meant even the bed had to go. She did this because she has been unable to get back into the job market since the pandemic.

Once D shared their story, things turned around. Bongi has landed a part-time internship with a travel company where she is getting mentorship and support from a group of ladies in the US as well as having someone fully fund a one-year training course to specialise in IT. Several other sponsors have helped furnish the single room they rent, adding a new bed, fridge and desk to the room. Lastly, a new laptop was sponsored so that Bongi could enrol in her course and complete her internship.

“We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to all those who have contributed to the well-being of Bongi and Enzo. Your support has undeniably transformed their lives and is instrumental in breaking the cycle of generational poverty. We are honored to be walking this path alongside Bongi, and we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with such kind-hearted individuals. Rest assured, we will continue to keep you updated on Bongi’s journey as we stand beside her.” – D, I Have A Name

Bongi is still looking for a job while she studies and completes her internship. Project Purpose has placed her CV online so that potential employers can see it. If you are interested in Bongi for a position, her CV can be viewed here.

Anyone wanting to support her and Enzo with food or vouchers can also find her details linked above. She is so happy to be working her way back to how it was before, so any help is welcomed on her road to getting there!

“I Have A Name” is a space where an anonymous photographer (we’ll call her D) is taking photos of everyday South Africans to showcase their incredible stories.
How do we bridge the great South African divides? Black vs white, young vs old, rich vs poor, men vs women? The divides that keep us from making eye contact with the beggar standing on the street corner, or the stranger in the lift.
CS Lewis said, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
Come with me on a journey…the stories and names behind the faces of everyday South Africans living their life in your neighbourhood, on your streets.
I think you will discover that we have a lot in common.

Sources: I Have a Name
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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