Destitute Dumisani finds his happiness in bubbles

Dumisani Landman Louw keeps warm with blankets.

NEWCASTLE – Nothing compares to jumping into a hot shower, putting on your favourite PJs and snuggling under a comfy blanket on a cold winter’s night.

Related article: Newcastle’s homeless overwhelmed by support

But imagine sleeping under a winter’s moon, with nothing more than a handful of blankets and a small campfire as your only protection from the chilly night air.

For Dumisani Landman Louw, this is how he has faced every night for the past five years.

Also see: Homeless society comes under scrutiny

“I moved to Newcastle from Soweto five years ago looking for a job, but it just did not work out.”

Since then, he has lived on the fringe of society on the streets of Newcastle.

Three weeks ago, he set up camp in Trim Park with three other men.

“Living on the street is difficult and cold,” he shivered.

However, the weather is the least of his concerns.

“It isn’t safe to live this way; there are bad people around.”

Alongside his homeless companions, Dumisani said looking for meals was also a daunting task.

“While some people are kind and occasionally give us food, we sometimes have to dig in dustbins, hoping for food others have thrown away.”

Begging for money also helped Dumisani scrape by from day to day.

Despite living under difficult circumstances, Dumisani remains positive and upbeat, which he attributes to his pets.

“I have three chickens and two cats that make me smile.”

Dumisani said he loved the way his cats played with each other and how the chickens went about their daily lives, unfazed by their surroundings.

“Animals are like humans in a lot of ways, but I like to think of them as bubbles.”

Comparing his pets to bubbles might seem a rather strange analogy, but Dumisani said his reasoning was rather simple.

“Everybody likes bubbles and people smile when they see bubbles floating in the air, which is why I say my animals are like bubbles. They make me smile.”

Another thing that kept Dumisani going, was his positive outlook on life.

“It is a good feeling to able to wake up every morning, knowing God sees me as a person.”

While content living in Trim Park with his pets, Dumisani would love to find a job.

“I am willing to do any work, whether it is as a security guard or general worker, because I have dreams for my future.”

Looking into the sky, Dumisani said he often dreamed of owning a house, a car and having a family of his own.

“I want to be a proper human being. I want a loving wife and children, and I want to be able to care for them.”

One of Dumisani Landman Louw's kittens sitting comfortably between his shoes.

One of Dumisani Landman Louw’s kittens sitting comfortably between his shoes.

  AUTHOR
Quinton Boucher
Journalist

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