Good deeds in a time of pandemic

Nqabisa Qonongo with Makhwenkwe Jam-jam at his shack.

Despite their lives being harmstrung by the outbreak of Covid-19, some organisations and individuals have let their ubuntu shine through heartwarming deeds, no matter how small they may seem.

Makhwenkwe Jam-jam, 65, lived in a smelly and dingy shack covered with the soot of the old tyres he is fixing to try and put bread in the table.

Mr Jam-jam has suffered several shack fires and does not have an identity document, which prevents him from accessing the old age grant that is due to him.

When his neighbour Lungelo Mshudulu informed a group of local activists about Mr Jam-jam’s plight, they were moved to action.

Nqabisa Qonongo from a non-profit organisation called Khayelitsha Cup of Heroes, contacted other groups and upon their visit they galvanised the community around to help improve Mr Jam-jam’s situation.

“We explained his situation to the community and everyone made a little sacrifice and in the end we were able to buy materials to erect a bigger shack. People brought furniture and clothes for him,” said Ms Qonongo.

Philiswa Maarman, represnting Good Movement, said she was touched to see that most people who took part in rebuliding the shack were women.

“It’s Women’s Month and this is a beautiful gesture to show that we are nation-builders. We will try and get social workers to come here and help Madala with his ID documentation so that he can get his pension,” said Ms Maarman.

Nontsasa Nyovane from Siykhathala Volunteers said they were shocked when they visited Mr Jam-jam’s place.

“I don’t know how he lived there but am happy that we were able to be of help,” she said.

Another organisation that has been doing good since the lock-down was declared has been Ezase Kasie VW Club. This club is made up of young Volkswagen owners and their mission is to reach out to those facing difficulties in life.

“When the Covid-19 happened we felt duty-bound to raise funds for the needy and comfort them during this time,” said the club’s founding member Sihle Ngcolosi.

They have sourced groceries from shops like Pick * Pay, Food Lovers Market and Spar and saw their army of high revving drivers deliver food parcels to various locations in Khayelitsha, Delft, Nyanga and Gugulethu.

Vukani caught up with them when they visited an unemployed couple in Tsepetsepe to deliver much-needed groceries.

To Mlamli Mqumbisa and Rachel Pipes, the arrival of Ezase Kasi VW Club was totally was unexpected. “We are not working because of the situation and now these boys have brought us food out of nowhere. We are thankful to them and hope that they will continue helping others,” said Mr Mqumbisa.

The Mark Mayambela Foundation, Baphumelele Waldorf NPC and Harare Spar held a “thank you breakfast” for women in Kuyasa’s Endless Life Ministries on Friday. 

The organisations said it was proper to end of the Women’s Month by celebrating them. Harare Hill Spar owner Ntombiyolwandle Mponda said the company was raising a salutary fist to all women in the area. 

“Women carry the burden of the nation and during this challenging times we felt it was necessary that we thank them for being pillars,” said Ms Mponda.

Soccer star Mark Mayambela said they were doing this to encourage women to stay strong because they were at the receiving end of violence in the society,” said. Mayambela said men should be discourage from perpetuating gender based violence and instead be the protectors of the community. Rethabile Sonibare from Baphumelele Waldorf there would be more engagements of this nature as the three organisations want to strengthen women’s place in society.