Candy Tsa Mandebele's Covid-19 struggle: My 92-year-old mom has to send me R600 to live on
Like many South Africans, award-winning musician and actress Candy Tsa Mandebele Mokwena has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has stripped her of her savings and left her reliant on her pensioner mother for support.
The star, who has type 2 diabetes and is particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, has been spending most of the lockdown indoors and away from anyone who may carry the virus.
The pandemic has not only threatened her health but also her finances, with the star telling TshisaLIVE that the situation has become very difficult.
“I have been so affected by the virus. There is no shows and we do not know when the president will announce that we can go perform again. There is no relief from the government. I applied for relief from the department of sports, arts and culture but haven't received anything. It is difficult,” she said.
What many thought would be a short lockdown has now extended to several months, leaving Candy without savings and reliant on her elderly mother.
“I don't want anyone to hear that the bank came for my house and I am broke. I was not broke - I just wasn't working. Not by chance, but because of the pandemic,” she said.
“My mother is sending me R600 a month for food. I am broke because the money I saved is finished. I am living on R600 groceries. My mother is 92 years old. Instead of enjoying her money and me looking after her, she is buying mielie meal for me.”
She said politician Bathabile Dlamini sent her a food voucher after hearing about her plight.
Fortunately, in the hard times came a blessing for Candy: a role on the popular SABC1 soapie Skeem Saam. It was recently announced that she would play Bafedile, a feisty 50-year-old woman who returns to Turfloop after fleeing an abusive marriage over a decade ago.
“It was such a blessing to me. When I heard that I had got the role, I was so happy. I couldn't believe it. The character is 50 and I am about to turn 50. We are both village girls and have a natural look. We are so similar.
“I can't wait for people to really fall in love with her.”