SIMON Balangile was orphaned in his early teens and had to live under a bridge.
After he had finished begging for the day, he’d walk along streets lined with nice mansions, admiring the large double storey houses in Queenstown, Eastern Cape.
Today, the 44-year-old from Tambo section near Westonaria has built his own mkhukhu mansion!
“I’ve realised that life is what you make of it rather than what life is supposed to do for you,” the wise Simon told Daily Sun.
“When I’m up there in my house, I’m able to see people walking in the street.
“But that doesn’t mean I’ve now become a proud man. I’m equal to all God’s people.”
But don’t be fooled by Simon’s achievements . . .
He respects the other shack dwellers, his neighbours!
The father of five kids said it took him more than three months to plan and build his comfortable double storey house.
Originally from the little farming village of Dordrecht, Simon said a madala called Baaba Balangile rescued him.
“Baaba Balangile took me away from the street and raised me to become strong. I thank him. He was a godsend,” he said.
Simon said he teaches kasi kids to be lovers, not fighters.
“Since I moved into my mansion, I’ve developed a sense of inner peace,” he told Daily Sun.
And building the mkhukhu has awakened an ambition in the unemployed man.
“I’d appreciate it if any business or local government could help me improve my building skills,” said Simon.
He thanked God for all his achievements.