- One burn survivor Tweep is inspiring the world with her courage and determination
- Thembi Maphanga has chosen life despite what happened to her
- Her story and approach to life are a living reminder of how we should approach life and situations
Thembi Maphanga’s Twitter feed looks light-hearted and fun at first glance Her latest Tweet reads:
“When I’m feeling myself Coz I got joy in my heart”.
On closer inspection though, you see the scars and know there is far more to this brave woman’s story than what her Twitter feed reflects.
In 2010 Thembi’s life changed forever. After a fight with her boyfriend one evening, he left their family home and the two parted ways. The next day he came home to fetch his things. Thembi went to her bedroom to play with her 25 month old baby girl Kamo while he was busy.
At first everything seemed normal, and then her ex walked into the bedroom to where she and the baby were. He turned and locked the door. Thembi says she remembers feeling uneasy because locking the door was unusual.
He then produced a can of gasoline.
Thembi realised his plan and started to fight him. He doused her in gasoline while she screamed and fought him.
She carried on fighting to get the matches away, but he managed to light one and set her alight. He then escaped through the bedroom window. Thembi remembers vividly what happened next.
In a post on the Burn Survivor’s website, she recalls feeling the flames peeling her skin away. She couldn’t see anything.
Terrified for her daughter, she started to reach around to try and find her. Not able to see anything she realised she would not be successful and so she climbed out the bedroom window. Neighbours heard her screams and came running. While some helped her, others ran to try and save Kamo.
They were successful but she was also on fire when they brought her out of the house.
The two were rushed to two different hospitals. Thembi had suffered burns to 80% of her body and Kamo’s injuries were worse. Thembi only woke up three months later to the news that her twenty-five month old daughter had only survived a few days.
That was when she felt her world had ended and gave up on living.
It was a long journey back for this brave lady, but she has walked a journey few would not have the strength to.
In another story, Briefly.co.za featured another burn survivor who is an inspiration.
William Baartman was just three years old when his parents' home was petrol bombed. He sustained burns across 75 percent of his body but today he has dedicated his life to helping young burn survivors regain their self-confidence.
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Briefly South Africa has gone through the list of current and immediate past African leaders and is ready to present Top-5 tips on how to be an average African president (or King)! Beware: humor detected.