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Dikeni runner gives back to hometown

Siphiwo Bukani gives back to his community in Alice by donating school shoes and shirt annually.
Siphiwo Bukani gives back to his community in Alice by donating school shoes and shirt annually.
Image: SUPPLIED

For the past year, social runner Siphiwe Bukani has been giving back to his hometown in Dikeni, donating school shoes and shirts.

And now he wants to spread his net wider.

In 2021 Bukani established the Siphiwo Bukani Charity Run Initiative, seeing two Dikeni schools benefiting from the annual charity run.

It has always been my wish to plough back to the pupils at my old school and by extension, the community at large, and what better way to do it than to afford these youngsters dignity

Bukani said: “It has always been my wish to plough back to the pupils at my old school and by extension, the community at large, and what better way to do it than to afford these youngsters dignity.”

In his inaugural donation last year, Bukani gave 50 pairs of school shoes and shirts to Caesar Mlumbi Primary School — his old school — in Khwezana Location, his birthplace.

He decided to use his running skills to make this dream a reality by hosting annual charity runs.

“My second charity was a great success as I doubled the donations from last year’s initiative. I donated 100 pairs of school shoes and shirts to Siphumezulwazi Junior Secondary School in Dikeni on April 11 2022.”

Bukani started running in 2016 when he joined Buffalo Runners Athletics Club in Qonce, and later joined Real Gijimas Athletics Club in Mdantsane in 2018.

Bukani said he hoped to see the event become an annual one.

“I believe it will serve as an ideal platform for us to provide our local youth with basic necessities.

“I would like to thank friends and strangers alike for the support received since the inception of this concept.

“People donated shirts, and shoes, while others made cash contributions.

“I am extremely grateful for the support, especially as many are still trying to recover from the financial blow rendered by Covid-19. That you are still able to think of others at a time like this is extraordinary.”

I am targeting areas with disadvantaged backgrounds

He plans to expand the charity run to other areas besides Dikeni.

“I am targeting areas with disadvantaged backgrounds. The event is not funded, as I am getting donations from friends and other people who are interested in giving back.”

Nomasixole Ganto, who nominated Bukani as a local hero, said the sports enthusiast backed the initiative with passion.

“Though he hosts charity runs, he also collects training shoes for soccer and netball players of Khwezana Location. In September he also hosted a sport tournament where pupils received sports kits.

“He is a local hero because he does not specifically choose who deserves the essentials, but rather makes sure every child in need in that area benefits.”

DispatchLIVE


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