Ensuring your child's tummy is full before bedtime is every mother's mission. For some it's easy, but for Adrie Louw, it means getting up when it's still dark to make her way to her shelf-packing job.
By Brandon Nel - Freelance Journalist
Adrie Louw walks on tiptoes through the dark house to not wake up her toddlers.
Her mother will tend to them once they wake up. Breakfast is usually soft porridge made on a gas stove, with milk, if the milk is not sour.
They have learnt to buy only one litre at a time to avoid wastage. Life is not easy if you do not have a fridge, but a fridge is pointless if you do not have electricity either. There just isn’t money for such a 'luxury'.
Japie, her husband, lost his job two years earlier.
There was no warning that this would happen. He arrived at the panel beater premises one morning and found a huge lock on the gate.
There was a notice of sorts that someone had tied to the gate, but Japie could not read. He was a Felicitas learner. Not able to read, but very good with his hands.
The owner of the company ran away during the night with all the tools, money from the safe and also a client’s vehicle.
Japie used to be the sole breadwinner and Adrie the stay-at-home-mum, where she looked after her twin daughters and her sickly parents.
Her mother suffers from emphysema and her dad was a casualty of mine TB. He was buried last year.
Nowadays, she is the breadwinner and Japie sits on the porch every day, staring into the oblivion. Her mother looks after the children as best as she can while Louw works at the local Spar as a merchandiser.
However, a mother will do anything to feed her kids - anything!
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