Vuyo started planting his garden five years ago, which now brings in an income for him as he sells his proceeds to his community.
On Sunday, 20 October, South Africans will celebrate Garden Day and it was Lisa Pellatt of Marvello and Mill, on behalf of Garden Day SA, who discovered Vuyo busy skoffeling in his tuin at the N2 Gateway in Delft.
Vuyo’s garden along Aberdare Road is filled with veggies like peas, spinach, carrots and mielies, while he also tends to two pigs.
Lisa explains: “We were working on the National Garden Day campaign and we do work with the Horticulture students at CPUT.”
She says one of the lecturers mentioned that he met Vuyo in Delft, but it was only when he went back a second time that he realised Vuyo was blind.
“The man had worn sunglasses. He told us about him and we thought, ‘wow, that is someone that we would like to meet’,” says Lisa.
“The whole thing about Garden Day is celebrating our gardens and all the work that is put into gardens throughout the year.
“It is a day you put your tools down and spend time with your loved ones.”
Vuyo grew up in Port Elizabeth but says it was in Delft where his passion for gardening began.
He says 25 years ago his life changed forever when he fell ill.
He was working as a mechanic, and also owned taxis when he contracted a severe eye infection and was hospitalised.
Despite the surgery, the infection spread to his other eye, leaving him completely blind.
“When I lost my sight, I lost everything. My own colleagues stole my vehicles,” he says sadly.
While living in Langa more than 15 years ago, a fire destroyed his home and Vuyo, a father of 16 children, moved to Tygerberg and then Delft.
He says the garden helps to sustain him and his family as well as the community: “If people in the community don’t have anything to eat, I allow them to come and help themselves.”
Vuyo knows his way around his garden, weeding, watering and harvesting, and even climbs over a fence to feed his pigs.
In 2016, Vuyo had heart replacement surgery, but is still very fit.
“I am here from 9am already and I only leave at 7pm. Here I feel good, happy and it keeps me healthy.”