Twenty years ago Peter Godola began working as a gardener for Gerry Erasmus of Kalk Bay.
Since then, he has become an integral part of the household and home and he currently fills what Mr Erasmus calls a “Man Friday” position.
“More like a ‘man everyday’ position,” Mr Erasmus says with a little laugh. He cannot over-state the confidence he places in Mr Godola, who now drives him around and helps with his 81-year-old partner, who has Alzheimer’s disease.
Mr Erasmus is desperate to help his friend Mr Godola.
“In the past three years he has suffered three misfortunes and just as he finishes paying off one disaster, he is struck by another,” Mr Erasmus says.
He describes Mr Godola as being victim to a string of bad luck.
In the first year, Mr Godola’s roof was blown off his family home in Mtatha. This cost him R10 000 to replace.
Next, the roof of his dwelling in Capricorn, opposite Marina da Gama, was blown off and he had to replace that at R4 500. Then on January 3 this year, his home in Mthatha caught fire and he lost absolutely every hard – earned thing in it. His ID document, driver’s licence, keys and the remotes in among all the sentimental and of course, practical, things.
Mr Godola places a photograph of the burnt out shell of his house on the table. He follows that up with an affidavit that he has made to certify the truth of his situation, and explains that he has to meet the costs of putting his 14-year-old son Sithemba through high school, not to mention care for his wife, Primrose, and daughter, Surprise, 2.
“Mr Erasmus has been very kind – they have helped all they can – but I can’t ask them for any more, they are pensioners,” Mr Godola said.
There is a small list: men’s shoes in sizes 8 and 6 (for Mr Godola and his son) trousers in sizes 32 and 28.
Primrose lost all her belongings too, she wears a size 32 dress and a size 7 shoe. Surprise wears clothes for her age group: two years old.
If you can help, call Mr Erasmus on 021 782 5134 or call Mr Godola on 083 566 9804.