Live. Laugh. Love. If you meet the Tsotsi clan then you would agree their last name should follow that adage. A mom and dad who still call each other “baby” with stars in their eyes and three daughters who shriek with laughter, at will: meet Sipho, Lungi, Nyaniso, Xoliswa and Busi.
“It is cold,” Sipho Tsotsi declares as he walks toward the Fish Eagle Community Centre. “I feel a chill,” he looks over his shoulder, where his wife, Lungi and his daughters are following. “Isn’t it chilly?”
“I’m fine, it’s not that bad,” Xoliswa, the middle daughter, still dressed in her paramedic student uniform, shakes her head indulgently. Her younger sister, Busi (who tells me her name “does not have an ‘e’ on the end, please!”) disagrees and runs up to her father for a cuddle.
Sipho rubs her back briskly to warm her up and, as Chris and Emily Allan set up for the photo shoot, they comment on him being outnumbered by the women in his life. He grins. “Ah, I love it! It’s just a pity men don’t lobola anymore, hey?”
The Tsotsi family bursts into peals of laughter and, the longer you’re in their company the quicker you realise that this happens often: they love to laugh!
Sipho and Lungi were born and raised in Swaziland, where they met. They relocated to South Africa in the mid-nineties and were both employed at Telkom head office in Pretoria. While living in Swaziland, Sipho worked for a company whose director had a home in Salt Rock at the time and, for Sipho, this became a goal. “I loved Ballito. I associated Ballito with good men. When we started chatting about moving, we knew where our hearts were.”
The Tsotsis holidayed in Ballito and were pleasantly surprised at the rapid development in the area. In 2018, they began earnestly looking for property on the North Coast. Sipho toured a few local gated estates and initially chose a home in a neighbouring estate. But, a week later, the agent approached him with a different proposition. “He told me about a unit at Simbithi and said I would love it, because of my family. He believed this estate was better suited to the family lifestyle we believe in. I told him that he had met me, he knew what I wanted, and I trusted him.”
And, so, without viewing the home, Sipho and Lungi signed on the dotted line. Three years later, they are part of the Jacana family, where they plan to remain. “Our children told us that out of all the things we had done for them, as their parents, moving them to Simbithi was the best,” Sipho chuckles. “They have said we may go, but they will stay here!”
The girls are blissfully happy in Simbithi with, as Busi eloquently puts it: “the lovely people”. “We are a family, here. I like going over to my friends’ houses in Jacana where we sometimes bake and do exciting things together.”
Xoliswa, who is training to be paramedic, enjoys the peace of the Estate. “Yes, being a paramedic in a pandemic is interesting. Everything is changing,” she says. “But, coming home and hearing the sound of children laughing while they play is de-stressing.”
Her bright eyes skipping over to the dam wall behind her, Nyaniso speaks of her love for nature. “Simbithi is so lush and beautiful. I love taking walks and then sitting here, looking over the dam and just reflecting. And, walking down to Thompson’s Bay through Beach Gate!”
“Yes, we try to walk every day,” Sipho chimes in, as he speaks of the convenience of driving the golf cart over to Ballito Gate and strolling to the Ballito Junction. “And, how could I forget our brilliant golf course? So many underrate it, but it is an exceptional course.” Lungi, who is just taking up the good game, is grateful for the security Simbithi provides her family. “My children are safe, and that means everything to me. When we walk as a family, we meet the loveliest older people who pass on their wisdom through conversation. How very special to be part of a family, such a beautiful commu