A Gamodubu family is living in perpetual fear following a spate of attacks by mysterious fires that have consumed almost all their property.
The horrifying story of Amogelang Senyobonyobo and her family of ten evokes pitiful emotions, but right now they do not need pity.
They need help.
What would have been a joyful start to the year, following the birth of her nephew last December, turned into something out of a horror movie as weeks after the baby’s birth, mysterious fires started attacking Senyobonyobo and her family.
“It all started on January 22 when I was at work. The kids say they saw smoke coming out of the house.
When they went to investigate they found my mentally challenged sister inside and the flames had caught blankets and clothes but together with my niece who has a 3-months old baby, they managed to douse the fire.
At first we thought my mentally challenged sister may have started the fire but a few days later while everyone was sitting outside, the fire started on its own and burnt everything inside the house including the roofing,” Senyobonyobo says pointing to the charred remains of her furniture.
The family has since moved from what used to be the main house and have turned their kitchen into a common bedroom where parents and toddlers cuddle together for warmth at night.
“The situation has been worse during the rains, but we were just glad that the weather was keeping the fires away,” Senyobonyobo adds.
When the fires started in January, Senyobonyobo who was working as a house maid in Gaborone’s Block 9 location informed her employers who went to her place to see the situation for themselves.
When the fire struck for the second time her employers dismissed her from work and she returned home to face the situation with her family.
“I had been getting a P400 monthly salary for my services which I used to top up on the monthly ration that my mentally challenged sister gets from the social services. But under the circumstances there was no way I could stay and fight for my job when fires were tormenting the kids, so I came back home to suffer with them,” she says with a look of despair.
Without any immediate relatives to turn to for help in the village, Senyobonyobo and her family have been at the mercy of neighbours and well-wishers. “A lady from an insurance company in Gaborone came by and after seeing our situation she went back and together with her colleagues, they brought bags full of clothes and blankets. A neighbour also gave us his brand new blankets, but the following day the fires returned and in our full view everything just caught fire. We were able to save a few garments,” she says.
“It’s so scary and we need all the help we can get. The ZCC church have promised to come and pray for us this weekend and we wish to appeal to anyone who can help, to come forward before the fires burn us to ashes,” she appealed.
Kgosi Leboko Keletso of Gamodubu village said he was also shocked by the mysterious fires and pleaded with anyone with a solution to come to the rescue.