Enjoying the fruits of faith and determination
Bekezela and her family lived in extreme poverty after her father, the family breadwinner, lost his job. They had to leave their home for a two-roomed shack.
"My parents sold stolen vegetables on the streets to put food on the table for us. My father woke me up at dawn to go with him to buy stolen vegetables from the security guards at a nearby farm. We lived in shame and humiliation because I was at high school already and I walked bare-footed. We had to brush our teeth outside where our neighbours could see us. It was worse during rainy season because our shack leaked and we had to find shelter at our neighbours," said Bekezela.
Bekezela lost interest in her studies, her marks dropped drastically and she bunked classes.
"I had low self-esteem because of my family's financial situation," she said.
In 2000, Bekezela was invited to the Universal Church.
"I attended services on Wednesdays for my spiritual life to develop. After a few months in the church my behaviour and outlook towards life changed. At a service, I understood that stealing was a sin and I stopped going with my father to collect stolen vegetables from the farm. I continued attending the services and I was encouraged to focus on my studies. My marks improved and I passed my matric," said Bekezela.
In 2008, Bekezela met Arthur in the church and they married four years later. "We battled financially because my husband was the only one working. Our financial problems affected our marriage as we constantly fought over money issues. I continued attending Monday services and asked God to bless me with a job," said Bekezela.
"In 2016, I got a job that I was not qualified for. Things changed in the house and the fights stopped. We bought a house in a suburb in Pretoria and started an air conditioning company. This year we secured a big contract with a Namibian company and hired three professors to work with us on the project. Committing my life to God taught me to completely depend on Him for everything. I am now enjoying financial freedom, something that was a far-fetched dream for me. My faith is strengthened by each blessing that God is giving me," said Bekezela.