He was mysteriously dismissed from his well-paying job “for no apparent reason”. He lost his beautiful house. His wife, the mother of his four children, then dumped him. His three luxury cars were repossessed and he now lives a miserable and lonely life.
Gideon Thabe (48) has consulted countless prophets and traditional healers, who told him that the only solution was to perform a special ritual with his father’s family. The main problem for Gideon, however, is that he has never met his father’s family since he was born in 1964.
With borrowed money and not knowing where to sleep, Gideon undertook the 1 577km journey from Zwide Township in Port Elizabeth to look for his father’s family. He also went to Musina and Lesotho, but without any success.
The only document that Gideon has is his father’s dompas, which was issued by the government in 1955. He says his father’s name was Kampeni Thimothy Dabe, who was born in 1924. He also believes that his father’s surname might have been misspelt when he applied for the dompas.
He explains why he decided to take a trip to Venda to look for his father’s family: “Elders told me that my father went to Port Elizabeth in 1955. He met my mother, Phindiwe Mary Mandisa Dabe, and settled with her. They say he used to tell people that he came from Venda but never said anything about his relatives. He never went home and he lived in Port Elizabeth until he died in 1987. He was buried in Port Elizabeth, and none of his family members attended his funeral because nobody could trace them. My mother also tried to trace my father’s family, but she died in 2009.”
Gideon said his father once told him that he left a baby boy in Venda. “Although I was still very young, I remember going to the post office with him to send clothes to his baby boy by post. I could not remember the postal address that he used then because I was very young. He did not even tell us the name of the boy or the village in which he stayed.”
The heartbroken Gideon says the information in his father’s dompas indicates that his registration district was Messina. “That is why I took a trip to Musina to try and locate the relatives of my father. I went to the local Home Affairs offices and the municipality, but there was no record of him. I am deeply worried because nobody has a clue about his family. I must find his family , so that I can perform the special rituals and my life can be normal again.”
He continues: “My father used to tell us that he had a brother-in-law called Abel Siziba, who has since passed on. He also told us that he had a brother who was a police officer at the Beit Bridge border post, but he never told us his name. He often said he was related to the Moyos and Ncubes, but he never told anyone about his other family members or his origins. While he lived in Port Elizabeth, he only worked for one company, William Scott Paintings, for 33 years. His employers also did not know his exact origins, except that he used to tell people that he was from Venda.”
Gideon requests community members who might help him to find his father’s family to call him on 073 910 3108 or 074 872 3214.