How green grows Gugs’ garden

Vukuhambe members at their garden.

Accessing healthy, fresh vegetables just got a lot easier, with the launch of the organic vegetable garden at Vukuhambe Self Help Association in Gugulethu.

At the launch of the garden last week, Vukuhambe’s Thozi Mciki said the initiative would help fight hunger in the community.

“The physically challenged have taken the bull by its horns to push back (against) poverty (by starting) a food garden,” he said.

It was Nomntu Mnqadi, 65, who initiated the project with nothing but an idea and the desire to uplift young people living with disabilities. When she pitched her idea to Vukuhambe, they bought into it.

“My vision was to create a fully organic community garden on the grounds of the organisation and for the community to enjoy fruits of their toil. But back of my mind was the young people with disabilities. I wanted them to see that we care for them,” she said,

But starting the garden was not easy. They had neither the tools nor the experience to do it – so Ms Mnqadi equipped herself with the skills by doing workshops with organisations like Abelimi Bezekhaya in Nyanga.

After graduating there, she was offered tools and seeds. “The dream was starting to come true for me and others. Many people came on board. We also had PPC cement company coming to assist with seeds and tools. This garden will help with sustainable food supply here and in the community. I am happy to see it launched today,” said Ms Mnqadi.

Nosipho Mxume, 28, who has been part of the initiative since its inception, said she was excited to see it growing day by day.

“I have never done gardening, (so) this was a chance to learn. I am now even planting at home – something that I have never thought of before. Thanks to Vukuhambe for the experience. We now feed people with this and have a soup kitchen when we cook some of our harvest to feed us and the community,” she said.

Another novice gardener, Portia Mafusini, 24, said she also got involved in the initiative to make a difference in the community and was delighted to see the garden thriving.

The garden is 100 percent organic.
Mama Nomzi Mnqadi was excited to see the garden launched.
Vukuhambe and Gugulethu community are to benefit from the garden.