Rudy Bessit a resident at the Wembley Shelter for the Homeless during the unveiling of mobile showers last week Friday

By Tshepo Motholo

  • Rudy Bessit, a 41-year-old technician from Limpopo, shares his journey of resilience and courage amidst adversity.
  • Despite facing discrimination, abuse, and a life-altering accident, Bessit perseveres, seeking opportunities and a more accepting environment in Johannesburg.
  • Now residing at the Wembley homeless shelter since 2022, Bessit is rebuilding his life with the support of the LGBTQ+ community and initiatives like mobile shower services, emphasising the importance of community support and resilience in overcoming challenges.

In the heart of Limpopo, a story of resilience and courage unfolds as Rudy Bessit, a 41-year-old technician, shares his remarkable journey. Born and raised in a community where acceptance seemed difficult to describe, Bessit faced not only the challenges of being openly gay but also the trauma of abuse and a life-altering accident.

Growing up, Bessit encountered discrimination and hostility, even within his own family, due to his sexual orientation. Despite the hurtful comments and lack of support, he persevered, believing that his family would eventually come around. However, the reality was harsher than he imagined. Bessit’s stepfather subjected him to molestation, adding another layer of pain to his already difficult circumstances.

In 2004, tragedy struck when Bessit was involved in a car accident that left him with a fractured spinal cord. The physical limitations resulting from his injury forced him to resign from his job, leaving him feeling hopeless and uncertain about the future. Struggling with mobility issues and a newfound fear of heights, Bessit made the bold decision to seek a fresh start in Johannesburg in 2006, hoping to find better opportunities and a more accepting environment.

Despite the challenges he faced, Bessit refused to let his circumstances define him. He found employment at Discovery, where he thrived in a customer service and business banking role. However, deep down, Bessit harboured a lifelong passion for the entertainment industry. Taking a leap of faith, he saved diligently and pursued his dream by registering with casting agencies, determined to carve out a new path for himself.

In 2013, Bessit made the courageous decision to leave his job and pursue his passion full-time. His career was on an upward path until the unforeseen arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought everything to a standstill. Overnight, Bessit found himself without income, facing the daunting prospect of homelessness. With nowhere else to turn, he sought refuge in the LGBTQ+ community, which directed him to Wembley Home of the Homeless.

Since 2022, Bessit has called Wembley homeless shelter his home, a shelter run by a non-profit organisation funded by the Gauteng Department of Social Development in Johannesburg, where he receives essential shelter and meals as he works tirelessly to rebuild his life. Grateful for the support he has received, Bessit applauds initiatives like the mobile shower services introduced by the Department of Social Development and other non-profit organisations. “These services not only provide hygiene facilities but also restore dignity to individuals experiencing homelessness,” said Bessit.

Bessist’s story serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of community support. Despite facing adversity on multiple fronts, he remains determined to overcome obstacles and pursue his dreams. As he continues his journey, Bessit urges others facing similar challenges to seek help, hold onto hope, and never underestimate the impact of a helping hand.

Picture by Eric Malema


Leave a reply