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The Life Story of Joy Kotze

Joy is 73 years old. She speaks Afrikaans and a little English. She lived the early years with her parents until they died, she was then informally adopted by friends of the family. When her mother was alive she regularly sent her to the bottle store to buy alcohol. Her mother used to throw shoes at Joy and was generally not nice to her. She later went to live with her aunt and then to Alexandra Hospital. She didn't enjoy living in the hospital. She moved to Includid in 1997. She has officially retired from the workgroups but she continues to help out in the group home.

Joy tells his story...
(in her own words)

Joy is originally from Observatory. When I was a little girl, I lived with my aunt. I never experience a love of my mother because of she was alcoholic. My aunt came to fetch me from my mother's place to live with her. I experienced a nice time to live with my aunt. I never have nice time to stay with my mother; she used to hit me and pulled my hair down when she is drunk. My father couldn't cope with my mother's behaviour anymore but he had to respect the fact that they are married. My mother passed away after sometime. I was in the kitchen the time my mother passed away. My father came to tell me that I mustn't look at her she is dead and he is going to take her to the mortuary. I felt so bad after my mother passed; my fathers took me back from my aunt's and live with him. My heart was sore and painful for many times and thinking of my mother.

The time I started to live with my father, I extremely experienced a love of my father, he used to give me money for my birthdays and make a huge party for me. By the time was my mum alive I never experience what was my father did as he used to go around not be available at home in my birthdays, he was avoiding my mum because of she was drinking too much. Although I don't remember everything what I can say my father was very kind to me. I used to always think about my mother, the time she used to ask me when I come home from school with marks in my fingers. I attended a primary school when I was a little child at Observatory. I had to dropout the school because of I was not clever at school; I didn't get enough support from my mom to help me in my books and some homework's. My mom was the first person who told me to drop out at school.

When I was at a teenage stage, I was living with my father. I noticed that my father was very sick, and then I had to phone the ambulance to come and fetch him from my home to the hospital, he had to go when the ambulance came. I had nerves after my father admitted to the hospital. I started to smoke cigarette too much. In my mind I thought cigarette will take all my worries away.

I don't remember who came with the decision for me to live in Alexandra Hospital because I was staying alone at home. I don't remember the ward that I was in to Alexandra hospital. The food was not nice. They gave us bitter porridge, coffee and food. The staff at Alexandra were ok. Social workers spoke to me if I am happy to move to a group home and stay there for good. I told them I will appreciate it, and then I moved in a group home and stay there. The name of a group home was Friends of Alexandra after some years the name became to change to Includid

I first lived in Double Storey house then Forest house. I moved from Double storey because the stairs was too high for me. Where I live now I am enjoying every moment. I have my own chores at home to do; I clean the house and help in the kitchen.

I started to join the work project in the Employment Training areas. I was working in the papermaking project. I was cutting papers for to make mulch. My work skills became to develop; I participated doing beads in the papermaking project. I attended literacy every Tuesday a week where I learn a different lesson that helps me for my writing and reading skills.

I enjoyed working at Employment Training that was keeping me busy. I had to leave working in the Employment Training areas because of my age. I started to help at home; I also enjoy what I am doing at home it keeps me busy at all times. On Friday I go to the Employment Training areas to get pay. I am very happy to live at Includid, I go out with my boyfriend to the Waterfront and on my birthdays I go out to Vangate Mall and the Waterfront with Dial –A- Ride and enjoy myself. My life is not limited at all if I compare the life that I was in the hospital.

Joy's video life story
Joy, telling us
her life story
Joy cooking in forrest house
Watch out for Joy as she
cooks dinner for the house
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