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‘Sometimes it’s eat or die,’ says Tubs

Recovering addict-turned restaurateur throws lifeline to children’s NGOs

Tubs Lingham,34, went from living on the streets to a community leader with a successful business.
Tubs Lingham,34, went from living on the streets to a community leader with a successful business.
Image: ROSA-KAROO LOEWE

Though some people might not care if a non-profit organisation doesn’t make it, or if the hungry get fed, in this economy rising food prices are a  struggle for most families.

Tubs Lingham, of Gonubie, does whatever he can to ensure the doors to sanctuaries stay open and the hungry are fed. 

The business owner, father and husband knows what it feels like to be destitute. 

“Hitting rock-bottom was an eye-opener,” Lingham, 34, said.

“I was a drug abuser from 10 years old.

“In 2018, I was living on the streets for eight months with not a cent to my name.

“I was living in my car, which I pawned for R3,000 for drugs.

I have a passion for helping, I grew up everywhere in East London. I had the idea to support NGOs because I understand that, sometimes, it’s eat or die

“I have a passion for helping, I grew up everywhere in East London.

“I had the idea to support NGOs because I understand that, sometimes, it’s eat or die.”

Lingham said after a family intervention which led to him spending six months in rehab, he made the decision to transform his life and opened a curry takeaway as a family business. 

Now, the owner of Pot O’Curry in Beacon Bay is committed to supporting NGOs that strive to make a difference in the lives of the poor, particularly children.  

He said: "When I opened Pot O’Curry I had a passion for helping in different avenues.

“Sometimes I receive more than 20 WhatsApps a day from people asking for help.

“The challenge is that there is never enough.

“There are always people who are destitute and it’s tough trying to work out who needs help the most. This is why I work through NGOs.” 

Pot O’Curry donates surplus food daily to feed hungry children through East London non-profit Helping Those in Need.

Tubs is a beacon of hope. He helps feed our 2,200 children as part of our feeding scheme along with our 27 children at home. He saved us when we faced shutting down and sending them to children’s homes

Lingham also helped raise R104,000 to keep the NPO open when he heard it was days away from closing in March.

He donated R50,000 through the business and challenged the community to match the amount — which they did in two weeks. 

Marion Peake of Helping Those in Need called Lingham a “true firestarter in our community”.

“Tubs is a beacon of hope. He helps feed our 2,200 children as part of our feeding scheme along with our 27 children at home.

“He saved us when we faced shutting down and sending them to children’s homes. 

“He is helping local —  charity begins at home and he is an example of that.

“We are very grateful for people like Tubs [for] showing empathy.” 

Lingham also led the charge in a weight loss challenge, “Fit for Logan”.

It raised R44,000 for the medical needs of four-year-old Logan Bartle, who has cerebral palsy, in partnership with the Go! Express and the Canaan Centre, in December 2020.

Lorraine Heartly, 67, who knits for the abused and abandoned babies of Guardians of Hope, said Lingham “helps everyone and just gives”. 

“He heard I was knitting for charity and offered to buy me wool.

“He took me to the Spargs Mall and said we could choose any colour and kept saying ‘throw more in’.

“He spent more than R400 — every time I knitted I would take photographs of all the bootees  and slippers.

“Every now and again he sends me a message saying ‘do you need any more wool?’ He’s incredible.”

DispatchLIVE


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