90-year-old entrepreneur promises to pull struggling family out of hardship

Everson Luhanga

It’s a happy ending for the Linda family from Alexandra, Johannesburg, whose 14-year-old son was denied access to school last month because he wore tattered shoes to school.

The boy, Karabo Linda, didn’t have school shoes because his mother couldn’t afford to buy a new school uniform for him or the other seven children she looks after.

On Saturday 90-year-old Bertram Klisser, who read the story, visited the family and promised that he would adopt them.

He has issued a challenge for other people to follow in his footsteps and help the family where they can.

Bertram, who lives in Waverley , said the story of the Linda family touched him.

“I couldn’t help crying,” he told Scrolla.Africa.

“Karabo was so determined to go to school but his social status got him rejected on his first day of high school.”

On Saturday, Bertram kicked off his journey of helping the family by going to the shops with Karabo’s mother and buying the uniform and food parcels for the family.

The Linda family have three broken single beds in the house. The rest of the family members sleep on the floor.

After witnessing the living conditions in the house, where 18 people live in two rooms, Bertram hired a carpenter to come and build more beds for them.

Bertram, a retired entrepreneur, said he and Karabo’s mum, Minah Linda, have begun making plans for Minah to start her own business.

If it takes off, she’ll have the means to provide for her family, some of whom Bertram is also helping to find work.

“I am also speaking to my former colleagues in the business to help the unemployed members of the family to get jobs,” Bertram said.

Young Karabo has some ambitions of his own. When he grows up, he wishes to be a lawyer and a professional golf player. He has been an avid golf player since he was nine years old.

Said Bertram: “I would like to see Karabo’s performance on the golf course and if I am impressed I will pay for a professional coach to train him. I am willing to sponsor his trips to any part of the world if he travels to other countries to play golf.”