THE Daily Dispatch, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson, honoured 12 local heroes at a gala dinner at The Venue@Hemingways last night. The first-ever Local Heroes awards ceremony saw more than 400 people, including corporates, local business and politicians, come...
People came together to bring Christmas cheer to children with cerebral palsy and their families on Saturday. Madiba Sunrise is a non-profit organisation that brings home-based care twice a month to 16 East London children with the condition. Board chairman Pat...
After receiving scores of nominations for the Daily Dispatch Johnson & Johnson Local Hero, the top 12 candidates have been selected for the 2015 Local Heroes Awards Ceremony on November 25. About 40 local heroes around the Eastern Cape were...
Having lived a life without his father, Luyanda Jordan, 34, has committed his life to being a father figure in the lives of 16 children at the Sunrise house of safety. Jordan, affectionately known as “Daddy Jordan”, is a job...
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,...
Creating the change you want to see is the mantra by which Nonkosi Ntloko lives.Ntloko, founder of New Start School in Bongweni Village opposite Cove Rock, has lived in the area since 1999. She decided to open a day care...
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...
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...
A Mdantsane woman who runs an award-winning life skills project from her tiny backyard, has been hailed as a local hero since her projects empower and uplift unemployed youth. Glenrose Mashiqa  provides sewing, quilting, flower arranging, crocheting, cooking and baking lessons...
Witnessing an ageing mother struggling to carry her child, who suffers from cerebral palsy, up an embankment struck such a chord with Pat Goosen that he decided to roll up his sleeves and help those with the condition. Goosen joined...
Students who nominated Judy Silwana as a local hero said she was nothing short of a goddess. Silwana, 44, a programme coordinator of the department of social responsibility (DSR) at the Diocese Anglican church of Grahamstown, has been commended for...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Striving to improve lives sees Themi Makefungana cooking for more than 100 people twice a week. Makefungana, 25, lives in Chintsa East, where she works at a village centre. “Since I have been here, I have seen the struggles of the...
Fighting poverty, crime and drugs in a community where families live off social grants, is what drives Linda Jonas, a teacher at Mzamowethu Combined School, to exceed her duties and empower pupils with education. Jonas, 51, has been teaching 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...
A passion for bridging social differences inspired Danté Robberts to encourage her school to collect food, toiletries and clothes for a family of four in Scenery Park. Danté, 17, a matric pupil at Stirling High School, first learnt of the...
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...
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...
Egoli resident Dianna Botha and her family have become a beacon of hope in a community where drugs and alcohol abuse are rife. Botha, a nurse at Frere Hospital, helped start The Lord’s Kitchen at her home, where more than...
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...
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...
A compassionate couple who adopted a community at a dumpsite as their family in Stoney Drift near Amalinda have been named as local heroes. Joshua Minter, affectionately known as Ceba (councillor) on the dumpsite and his wife, Rachael, say serving...
Getting one daughter ready for her matric dance can be a mammoth undertaking, but Gonubie resident Zana Ackermann had a houseful of nine matric girls to dress and groom for their big night three weeks ago. Ackermann, 29, who teaches...
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...
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...
Her title may say principal, but parents and pupils call her a saviour. Zola Mburwana, the principal of Annshaw Primary School in Middledrift, has been praised for her work in turning the school around. Doomed for closure in 2014 with an...
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...
She plans each teddy bear as she would one of the many Nahoon River mansions she has helped design – with pinpoint precision and meticulous attention to aesthetic detail. Architectural designer Jenny Althorpe, who created Tony Cotterell’s Torquay Road home...
Two extraordinary doctors were honoured as local heroes on Friday. The South African Medical Association’s (Sama) Border Coastal Branch used its AGM at the East London Golf Club to launch a new local hero award tradition. Dr Mervyn Griffiths and Dr...
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...
Enduring years of illness, which would have deterred an ordinary person, is exactly what spurred swimmer Jared Burger on. The former Selbornian, 18, returned with three gold and five silver medals from the South African Disabled Swimming Championships held in...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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...

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...
‘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...
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...