Giving a hand in a community where children were raised in the absence of their parents inspired Noxolo Ndzimela to volunteer at a centre in Ncera Village, which feeds children and assists them with their homework. The centre, Philisa, is...
A cricket-crazy pensioner whose boyhood dreams of playing for South Africa were crushed by apartheid is helping poor township children realise theirs by mentoring them after school. Instead of whiling away his golden years in a rocking chair on the...

New hope for villagers

HLALISWA Nobebe of Dabhane village in Peddie has lived in a dilapidated mud house for more than 40 years – but thanks to local heroes those days are over. Yesterday the Methodist Church Grahamstown district women’s manyano handed over five...
For former Southernwood Primary School headgirl Ayabulela Mahamba, being a leader has little to do with politics and everything to do with helping children rise above their circumstances. Mthatha-born Mahamba, 21, now a final-year BCom accounting student at Nelson Mandela...
Losing  three relatives to HIV in Tsholomnqa was the turning point for HIV sufferer Mandisa Dukashe, who committed time and money to empowering villagers. What started out as counselling sessions for those living with the disease has since blossomed into...

Sacrificing for pupils

A township maths teacher has been praised for going the extra mile by giving up his weekends to hold free extra lessons for dozens of matric pupils from several Sunshine Coast schools. Teaching for up to 12 hours at a...
For Faried Kops of Buffalo Flats, the challenge of bringing a smile to people’s faces is one that runs deep. Commonly known as “Uncle Faried”, he has committed his life to being a beacon of hope to people facing...
‘Raddie’ there for Mdantsane residents. A PENSIONER from Mdantsane has been hailed as a hero after using her old-age social grant to feed and clothe the needy in her community. Florence Mvana, commonly referred to as “Raddie” was lauded on social...
Two years ago five friends from Mdantsane got together and decided to change the lives of underprivileged girls from their area. The women, who all grew up in the area, began with an assessment of what empowerment tools girls needed...
Akhona Matyobeni, an accountant who grew up on the dusty streets of Duncan Village, is giving back to children from the impoverished township. Matyobeni, a senior accountant at Buffalo City Metro (BCM), now lives in Beacon Bay, but spends his...
After realising the plight of underprivileged children in her community, Donae Carelse Goosen from Parkridge started a lunch-box drive for pupils who come from the poorest families. Goosen, who is well-known in the Parkside community for a number upliftment projects...
It was an inspirational morning for pupils from Mdibaniso Secondary School near Alice yesterday as they cheered a fellow pupil who received a trophy and cash in recognition for his selfless community work. Bongile Sikane, 17, who was lauded for...
Fort Beaufort-born Khaya Baartman is a man on a mission. He has since 2014 started a sporting programme in his hometown to keep youth away from crime and substance abuse. Baartman, 42, a former employee of the department of education, has...
The frustration of sitting idle spurred three unemployed women from the South African National Tuberculosis Association (Santa) to make a difference in their poverty- stricken community. The women – Funeka Qhutywa, Nosisana Ntoyani and Thobeka Mayatula – are unemployed and...
By  MBALI TANANA Running for a cause is what has inspired Frances Smith to enter the 2016 Comrades Marathon scheduled between Pietermaritzburg and Durban on May 29.  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mhDawsEi5I] Smith, a 49-year-old stay-at-home mother, aims to raise funds for The King’s Children’s...
Nine years ago Carlos Allan was down and out, battling several addictions and suicidal thoughts. On the outside, his life looked fulfilling and colourful. He was an advertising consultant and in a steady relationship, and had a five-year-old daughter who...
Bulelwa helps needy pupils. TORN socks, bare feet and no jerseys to ward off the winter chill is what greeted Walter Sisulu University (WSU) medical student Bulelwa Duze at Buntingville Junior Secondary School in Ngqeleni last year.As part of their...
Born into a family of five children, where their home was always open to the community, was what inspired Bongiwe Gabelana to run a place of safety for abandoned children. Gabelana’s heart for destitute children is clearly evident when she...
When retired schoolteacher Richard Norton first moved to the rural village of Port St Johns eight years ago, the first thing he realised was the lack of basic animal health knowledge in the area. It only took him a couple...
Driven by a love for broken and battered individuals, Matthew and Marion Peak have offered up their lives to being instruments of hope to many. Daily, the East London couple assists those in need, and help those who are down and...
Bruce McKay’s hearing loss as a result of Meniere’s disease spurred him to start a foundation to help others to hear. He recently handed over 40 sets of refurbished hearing aids to children at East London’s Carel du Toit Centre. McKay,...
It is very inspiring to read about the “local heroes” in and around East London who have sacrificed much to assist needy people, abandoned children, pets and animals without shelter and people suffering from serious ailments and disabilities. Thank...
When he was an orphaned schoolboy, adults refused to believe he was going blind and he struggled through school barely able to read. But now Rueben Puchert is ensuring the Eastern Cape’s blind people will get the help they need. As...
A bible study meeting 17 years ago was the starting point of Bless a Child, an initiative that collects clothes for needy children. Sandra Kohler had at the time learnt of how new mothers giving birth at Frere Hospital sometimes...
Traumatised by the sight of a family digging through garbage bins, picking up dirty nappies and mouldy food, Fezeka Mjemla started feeding and supporting children and adults. She now feeds hundreds of people. Mjemla, a qualified but unemployed teacher, collects clothes,...
Seeing dogs filling run-down kennels at the East London SPCA moved fine arts photographer Marlene Neumann to start her Buckaroo Projects – sterilising animals and providing basic animal healthcare in previously disadvantaged communities. The project was founded on “give a...
Retired teacher Alan Staples, who has spent most of his life in education, continues to play a vital role in the educational development of children, even in his retirement. The 69-year-old now spends his retirement driving fundraising for Hope Schools...
Holding down her own speech therapy practice while caring for a husband and children is no sweat for philanthropist Luanet Smit, who founded His Hands Care Centre. The centre, situated in Southernwood, caters for children with severe physical and cognitive...
Barnyard Stables, an animal clinic outside Mthatha and home to Janine Botha and her family, has given a lifeline to sickly horses through free veterinary treatment. Botha has been hailed as a lifesaver and angel by animal owners after she...
An Eastern Cape teacher has been lauded as a local hero for dedicating all her spare time to helping pupils pass matric. Zonke Mbatsha, a teacher at Nyameko High School in Mdantsane, turned her Amalinda home into a classroom for...
A human miracle involving the goodwill of churchgoers and German medical expertise freely given has given a Duncan Village teen his legs. Born with a condition that impaired his muscle coordination and disabled his legs, Simamkele Thompson, 14, can now...
Giving mothers an intimate experience through their pregnancy, during labour and after the birth of their child, are Karen Clark’s passion. Clark, 45, is a professional midwife who offers her services to rural women at no cost through her organisation...
For more than a decade Nompinda Yalezo from Tsholomnqa has fed the sick, vulnerable and bereaved in her community using produce from her vegetable garden. The 77-year-old from Tyusha village in Tsholomnqa said she started working on the family’s 50m²...
Instead of wallowing in self-pity when he lost his job 11 years ago, Rodney Parsons seized the opportunity to follow his passion of working with children. Parsons opened Carleen’s daycare centre and pre-school in the heart of Amalinda Forest to...
Opening the doors of learning to disadvantaged children has always been an ambition of Luyanda Matandabuzo, a successful accountant in East London who was himself thrown a lifeline when he was student. Matandabuzo, 30, has funded four students through university,...
A local businessman who hopes to help many former convicts regain their place in society, is using his own resources and money to see his wish come to fruition. Mtobeli Maxatana, who owns Maxatana Funeral Directors in King William’s Town...
Four former school friends have banded together to call themselves Ubuntu Warriors – to help provide shoes to pupils who have to walk long distances to school. Mtha Gaulekapa, Esethu Ndzamela, Siphesihle Ndamase and Laerce Heslop – all former Mthatha...
Opening her door to comfort people in distress in the Stutterheim community is what Nomfuneko Salaze committed herself to do after she was retrenched five years ago. The mother of three started “a white door shelter” – Kusile Women Empowerment Centre...
OPENING the doors of education for disadvantaged children of Fort White community outside Alice fits in with Mexican-born Teresita Ndibongo’s own experience as the child of a poor village. She and her Eastern Cape husband Quinton gave up their lives...
A world of potential is what Mfuneko Mthi sees in his rural community of Bizana Mthi, 31, who was born and grew up in the area, said beyond the poverty and suffering he saw hope in children’s eyes. Earlier this year...
Lusizo Mathafeni, a 27-year-old man from Duncan Village, has committed himself to bringing hope to the youth of area who live in a community where substance abuse is the norm and unemployment very high. Mathafeni who works as a life...
When unemployed Bulelwa Lengisi opened a creche in one of Mthatha’s oldest and most impoverished informal settlements in 2011, she had no idea of the sleepless nights ahead of her. Initially, she used a shack for the 30-odd young pupils...
Three former Daily Dispatch local heroes nominees have been given thousands of meal packs to enable them continue as beacons of hope in their communities. The initiative is a partnership between Hemingways Mall and the international Stop Hunger Now project. For...
NDIBANISO High School pupil Bongile Sikani, 17, has been lauded a local hero in his community after he played an instrumental role of having taps installed in his village. The installation formed part of Bongile’s community project with the International...
After being confined to a wheelchair for three years due to spinal TB, Florence Mvana committed her life to supporting people with illnesses.Mvana, 68, has been running a support group for people living with HIV in a shack at...
Stripping is alive and well among the ladies of Kennersley Park old age home in Beacon Bay. A group of woman known as the Kennersley Park Strippers crochet “strips” of wool used to create blankets that are in turn donated...
Touched by the plight of the six-month-old Duncan Village boy disfigured by a tumour on his nose, East London business owner Brenda Njikelana Dim paid to fly him and his mom to Cape Town to the Red Cross Children’s...
For 10-year-old Adam Pennacchini, going above and beyond to help the needy comes as naturally as being in the open veld and playing rugby. The Grade 5 pupil from Selborne Primary selflessly enjoys helping the elderly, young, less fortunate and...
Nothing gives more joy to 19-year-old Mthatha teenager Nguye Mahlangeni than seeing smiles on young children’s faces. Now the St John’s College Grade 12 pupil has made it his mission to help bring as many smiles as possible by changing...
While his peers are mostly concerned about sports and TV games, 13-year-old Simangaliso Ntoni dedicates his time to helping less fortunate children. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq9BRWAVLM8&feature=youtu.be Simangaliso is a beacon of hope for his NU9 community in Mdantsane with his outreach organisation, Positive Force...