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23
Oct
Lottostar & Kfm Give Ona His Voice Back

14-year-old Hout Bay youngster, Ona Dubula, made headlines when he was shot twice in the mouth and twice in the ribs by rubber bullets as he took shelter behind a desk during a clash with police and protesters protesting against possible fishing quota cuts. The Times reported that Dubula had to undergo surgery at the Groote Schuur Hospital after getting shot and doctors said his speech would most likely be permanently impaired, and that he won’t be able to make the click noises necessary to speak his home language, IsiXhosa, ever again. After a video went viral on social media showing Ona and another boy cowering behind a table, the story spread even further, outraging the public even more. The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) says the force used during the protest was unnecessary: “It seems very clear that the force used was excessive. However, we must investigate so that we can come to a proper conclusion.”

Ona and pinkie in studio

Image source

Reliving the moment

After the event, Ona has suffered severe trauma. “They shoot those guys then I go under that chair. I did pee and they shot me and I was crying, I was feeling the pain and then they shot me in the mouth here under the tongue. Sometimes I wake up and my mother tells me I'm saying ‘sorry, sorry, I didn’t do anything',’” he said. But it’s not only affecting him badly, his family has been suffering too

After the event, Ona’s mother, 34-year-old Phumeza Dubula, said that her son could only eat soft foods, and his new special dietary requirements put even more financial pressure on an already struggling family. “I don’t have money… I’m not working. I’m a poor lady,” she told EWN. But, luckily, there were people willing to help.

 Thanks to LottoStar and Kfm, Phumeza now has a job at La Parada Tapas Restaurant & Bar, and Ona is getting better every day.

LottoStar and Kfm to the rescue

While retelling their story on Kfm, the Kfm team gave the Dubula family the good news that Kfm had some money from LottoStar and were going to pay R5000 a month into Phumeza’s bank account for the next 12 months.

Pinkie at her new job with the Kfm team

Image source

Not only that, they were also going to help her get a job and assist Ona in getting the medical help and speech therapy he needs so that he can speak his home language properly once again. Kfm also promised to get the necessary counselling for Ona and his family, as they have been through an extremely traumatic ordeal. Upon hearing the good news, Ona and his mother sobbed and could not stop thanking everyone for the help they so desperately needed.

The LottoStar team is extremely proud to have been able to play a part in helping Ona and his family recover from such an unfair attack, and we feel good knowing that we are helping to improve the life of someone who has been through so much. The LottoStar team salutes you Ona. May you be stronger after this ordeal.

Update on Progress: 11th July 2018

LottoStar received the following update from Phumeza Dubula:

On contacting Phumeza Dubula, Ona's mom, she advised us that Ona is doing well and he is currently busy with an Ubuntu Project. Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning 'humanity to others'. 

LottoStar is chuffed to hear that Ona is keeping well and we wish him and his mom, the best of luck!  

Update on Progress: 29 May 2019

LottoStar received the following update from Phumeza Dubula:

How is Ona doing?

“He is doing okay and much better than before. The only challenge now is the cold weather. The other day, he came home early from school. He couldn’t participate in class activities because his tongue was very hard and painful. He couldn’t talk at all and was sent back home.

Was the speech therapy helpful?

“Yes. It was very helpful for Ona.”

Is there any improvement in Ona’s speech?

“Yes. He is trying to speak and it’s much better than before.”

Is Ona still doing the Ubuntu Project?

“He is no longer going to the Ubuntu Project because it clashes with his school’s daily schedule.

Is Ona still on a special diet?

“No. He is now trying to eat normal food like samp and other food we cook at home.”

Did the therapy help Ona and the rest of the family deal with the trauma?

“Yes.”

How have the monthly contributions from LottoStar assisted?

“They have helped a lot because Ona is now learning in a school in town and uses a MyCiti bus which uses a monthly ticket. I pay for all of them using monthly contributions from LottoStar. On weekends, Ona goes skating too. LottoStar’s contributions have really helped a lot.”

How did finding a job at La Parada Tapas Restaurant & Bar assist with the family’s welfare?

“It helped a lot because I use both my salary from the restaurant and money from LottoStar to buy food, electricity and clothes for my family.”

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