Lungi is a Xhosa woman who lives with her husband and 3 children in Makhaza. Lungi is the abbreviation of Nomalungelo, which means “rights” in the Xhosa language. In 1997 she moved with her first husband to the Western Cape, as many others did, in search for a job. For many years she worked as a domestic worker in Cape Town.
In 2008 Lungi met Marijke Frijters, a Dutch lady, who lived and worked in Cape Town and Lungi started working for her as a domestic worker. This was the beginning of a mutual learning process and a deep friendship. When Lungi’s husband suddenly past away while she was pregnant of her third child, Marijke and Lungi’s started exploring the possibilities of starting another way of life maintenance.
Lungi used to work in a guesthouse in Greenpoint, and her dream was to open a guesthouse of her own one day. So the idea came up to start a Bed and Breakfast in the township of Khayelitsha. It was obvious that township tourism was growing. So they worked together on a plan to open Lungi’s B&B. Marijke and her network supported Lungi by raising money through micro credits (an interest free loan). A lot of people believed in this project and made it happen, not only to create a better future for Lungi, her second husband and her children but for our entire neighbourhood in “Makhaza”!
Over the years more and more people got to know Lungi’s B&B, not only tourists but also local people. The business was growing. Marijke went back to Holland and coached Lungi only on distance. Anika Bloks took over the bookings and supported Lungi in a practical way. In 2012 Lungi started with a few neighbours the “Makhaza Youth in Art” project. By offering the children of the community painting- and craft making workshops, music and dance, it prevents children getting involved in criminality, vandalism and alcohol and drugs abuse.
In December 2014 a huge fire that started in the neighbour’s shack, destroyed the guestrooms and the living room of the B&B. Fortunately there were no guests. Lungi and her family managed to get out in time and nobody was hurt. But the damage was enormous and Lungi had to close the B&B. It took a lot of effort, support and time before the B&B was rebuilt again. In September 2015 Lungi was able to reopen her beautiful new Lungi’s B&B. The bright colours that Lungi had chosen in the previous B&B came back and gave the new B&B the colourful and welcoming atmosphere that made Lungi’s B&B famous before.