Abused orphan uses his pain to mend broken families

Abused orphan uses his pain to mend broken families

Gift Sekele was abused and forsaken by his family, but is today using his pain to help reconcile other families.

Gift Sekele
Gift Sekele/ Facebook @giftsekele

There is a famous saying: ‘When life throws stones at you, pick them up and use them to build the strongest, firmest foundation that no one could ever destroy.' This is exactly what Mamelodi man Gift Seleke has done.

Gift experienced a lot of heartaches as a young child, to the point that he even found himself searching dustbins for food and seeking shelter in hostels.

 “I was born in Mamelodi and grew up in Ga Sekhukhune [Limpopo]. I was raised by my granny who was abusive,” says Gift.

This granny, Gift says, was not his biological grandparent, and treated him so badly that he always felt like he was an outcast.

“Life has never been easy. I was an outcast,” says Gift.

He adds that his grandmother often beat him up and would hide food from him so that he would go to bed hungry. 

READ: Criselda Dudumashe on healing from childhood sexual abuse and finding love

The treatment was so bad that Gift says: “Even my cousins had noticed that I was mistreated, and they took advantage of that.”

Gift even struggled in school and didn’t manage to complete his studies. He finished school in Grade 10.

He says his family refused to help him buy stationery, and when he was sick, he had to wait for his mom to return from work in Gauteng to take him to hospital.

He recalls one of the saddest times in his life when he had to live with a broken arm for months.

“I broke my arm during a soccer match,” says Gift.

Even though he suffered pain, he says his grandmother still expected him to do house chores.

“I had to fetch water and wood even though my cousins who were healthy were there,” he says.

Gift says he once ran away from his grandmother’s house to get away from the pain and went to his mom in Mamelodi, Pretoria. This was the time he was in High School.

But sadly, things didn’t improve even when he got to his mother’s place in Mamelodi. He says he was mistreated, and his mom one day told him to his face that he isn’t her biological child.

This led to Gift running away and seeking refuge in hostels.

Though his ‘parents’ died, Gift says he has learned to find peace, love, and contentment in God.

He now has three children whom he absolutely loves. Although he is not married to the mother of his children, he says he maintains a good relationship with her.

“We have a very good relationship. What I told myself is that since well I don’t have anyone, I don’t want my children to not have anyone. I am there for them. I talk to my children every morning,” said the proud father.

READ: GMA: Making a Christmas special for three Orphans

He also runs a reconciliation ministry which he started in Mabopane.

“We focus on reconciling families and married couples,“ he says.

Gift works with a team of people. The reconciliation centre is in Mabopane and he says they offer a free service. Apart from this, Gift also has a WhatsApp group called 'Let’s fix because it is fixable’, where they help people with relationship issues.

“I don’t believe there is anything beyond repair,” he says.

"I want to see people happy. God allowed me to go through this pain so I can know what it feels to be lonely, and when a person says I have no one, what does he mean.”

Gift’s says anyone seeking help can contact him on Facebook.

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