After being wrongfully arrested in June 2019, for an attempted robbery he didn’t commit, Sihle, (19) from Table View, Cape Town, spent eight fearful months in custody while awaiting trial.
When the camera footage from the night in question was investigated, he was finally acquitted on all charges and released from Pollsmoor Maximum Security prison.
While in Pollsmoor, disconnected from the world, Sihle’s mom passed away in a car accident and the home he had always known was taken over.
Sihle was now an innocent man whose life had been destroyed and he had nowhere to go.
He soon found himself sleeping on the streets, in front of a Police Station, after the homeless shelter he was staying at kicked him out after only three months.
A leap of faith
Thinking back to a motivational speech Siya Kolisi, co-founder of the Kolisi Foundation, gave to the inmates during his time behind bars, Sihle took a leap of faith and reached out to the organisation to share his story and his hopes for his future.To his surprise, Rachel Kolisi responded.
Inspired by Sihle’s strength and the sadness in his story, the Kolisi Foundation is trying to help him turn his life around. “I’ve come across so few people that are this resilient and so few people who have overcome what he has overcome” – says Rachel.
In line with their motto, “remember the one, one by one”, The Kolisi Foundation has since found a temporary shelter for Sihle to stay at and has enrolled him in courses to complete his matric and receive computer skills development, so he can have a better future and follow his dreams.
Helping Sihle build a better future
To cover his basic living costs such as food, transport, and toiletries while staying at the shelter, the Kolisi Foundation has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy which has already raised over R33 000 towards their fundraising target of R150 000 with kind contributions from 86 donors.
Additional funds will be used to cover Sihle’s fixed monthly costs for rent and groceries, as well as psychologist services, or anything that could help with his health and wellness.
“I think it’s important for all of us as South Africans to realize that this is the state of our nation, and this is the state that people in our country are living in. Sihle’s story is so important because it’s not just his story. It’s so many other people’s stories in our country. How are we making ourselves aware of these stories? And what are we doing to change that narrative?” – says Rachel
To support Sihle, make a donation on BackaBuddy here: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/funds-for-sihle