News / South Africa

Marianke Saayman
2 minute read
29 Oct 2018
1:33 pm

Father builds double-storey corrugated iron palace

Marianke Saayman

When Thabo Kolodi realised that the North West municipality was unable to build him an RDP house that was promised to him in 2014, he decided to build his own dream home.

Thabo Kolodi stands in front of his nearly-completed corrugated iron mansion, which he built himself. Photos: Marianke Saayman

In 2014, Thabo Kolodi and his family dreamed of a better house after living in a two-bedroom shack with his girlfriend and their daughter in Ikageng extension 11. However, when the municipality was unable to build him a house, he decided to take matters into his own hands – literally – and built a double-storey house for him and his family, he told Potchefstroom Herald.

He began collecting materials in 2015, and today he boasts a double-storey house with seven rooms, a balcony and a beautiful garden, all constructed using corrugated iron.

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“During the week, I hunt for work. I work in gardens and paint a bit. Then I ask if people have any building materials they would otherwise have thrown away,” said the hardworking father.

Kolodi’s house has two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom on the ground floor. On the second floor, there is a guest room with a balcony to entertain guests.

Kolodi stands on his balcony overlooking his garden. Photo: Marianke Saayman

Thabo Kolodi with his girlfriend Dimakatso, sitting on patio furniture made by Kolodi. Photo: Marianke Saayman

Kolodi says the inside of the house still needs work and he still needs corrugated iron, asbestos plates, wood, and palettes. Many of the walls inside the house still need to be finished off with wood, and he would like to build a ceiling.

He also wants the steps in the house to be reinforced with wood.

The steps in the house need some work, but Kolodi is determined to make his dream house. Photo: Marianke Saayman

Kolodi works on his house every night and improves it bit-for-bit as he goes. He is also passionate about gardening and spends his mornings working on making his garden beautiful and neat.

Thabo Kolodi’s three nieces enjoy his beautiful garden. Image: Marianke Saayman

When Kolodi has completed his house, he would like to start a new project to teach children in Ikageng how to build dollhouses to keep them off the streets.

“I want to build double-storey dollhouses out of palettes for children in the community. The children don’t have much to do, so when school finishes, they either come home and watch TV, or hang around in the streets where there are drugs.”

Anyone who is able to donate materials to Thabo can contact him on 074 644 2629.

This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder.

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