"I live in the city to make money. My three-year-old daughter lives with her grandma in the village. I miss my little one every day."
"Last week, a cow died from a plastic bag. So I lost money I could feed my family for months."
"I've broken my foot so I can't walk to school and miss my final exams."
"My wife burns our household waste every week. She has recently had a very strong cough and the nearest doctor is two hours walk away."
According to the community, 75% of the locals are unemployed.
If a family has no money to pay for the school uniform or a child is unable to walk to school for 40 minutes, it is almost impossible to get a school education. That being said, even with a good school leaving certificate, there are just a few job opportunities available.
One option is to set up your own business in the village, for example, a chicken farm or a kiosk. The other option would be to leave home and family to find a job in the next city.
As both options are unworkable for many, this rural area is facing poverty. Many people live in a confined space, without electricity and cannot afford a means of transport.
It is diffucult for the xhosa community to get to a proper health care facility.
It takes about an hour by car to get to a doctor. In the morning at 5 o'clock a bus goes in the direction of the hospital, besides a few private households there are no other transport options.
Sibgongile does the patient transport for Mankosi community. Every month, he brings an average of 6 to 8 emergency patients to the hospital. This trip is not high-priced, but for many locals still too expensive to afford.
For this reason, diseases that seem harmless at first are often not treated. This leads to serious diseases that have health consequences.
Because poverty is a daily problem in the Eastern Cape, little consideration is given to the protection of nature.
The locals dispose of their waste in nature or burn it, both paper, plastic and electronic waste. They are doing so without knowing what the consequences of this behaviour will be in the future.
The toxic smoke is regularly inhaled, precious animals such as cows and horses die as they eat plastic while grazing, and many fish also perish due to ocean pollution.
Currently, the nearest recycling firm is three hours drive from Mankosi. For this reason, they are forced to burn their waste or throw it in nature.
"This environmental pollution complicates the lives in the rural area even more than it already is."