Clarendon teenager has a passion to help struggling communities

Amanye Sidlayi, 15, aspires to one day run a nonprofit organisation to help those in need.
DOING HER PART: Amanye Sidlayi, 15, aspires to one day run a nonprofit organisation to help those in need.

A 15-year-old Clarendon pupil who aspires to run a nonprofit organisation one day to help those in need has hit the ground running. 

Amanye Sidlayi recently donated more than 140 food parcels, as well as sanitary towels and clothing, to the small township of Orange Grove near East London’s King Phalo Airport.

Residents came out in droves to benefit from the pupil’s initiative.

Amanye said she was following the dictates of her name, which meant unite. It was all about uniting people through warmth and love, especially those who did not have much. 

She said she had learnt about giving from her parents, who often reached out to those in need, especially in rural areas. 

“I felt compelled to be exactly that in my community,” she said.

“I thought it was best to be a person who unites other people. Besides that, I believe giving comes from my heart. 

“They [parents]  are people who give often and I learnt that principle from them.”

Amanye said she had always been deeply moved by people who came from impoverished homes. 

“I decided to donate because I saw what other people have to go through, and so I thought of what I could do to make a difference. 

“I made a poster asking people to donate what they had, and luckily for me people close to me donated and supported my vision.

“I am very happy because I could see the recipients appreciated the gesture. It warmed my heart when I saw them so happy, even though it was a small gesture.” 

In the long run, Amanye hopes to open an NPO to cater for people fighting different battles.

“I want to have my own organisation because I want to play a part in eliminating poverty,” she said.

“I believe it is one of the biggest battles we have in SA and I really want to join the fight.” 

Besides fighting poverty, she also wanted to be among those who worked to improve the future of the next generation. 

“I want to be one of the people who save lives in many ways, as well as give people opportunities that can benefit them, either physically or emotionally.”

Even though she was surrounded by friends who have everything they wanted, she said seeing other children her age with nothing hurt her.

“My friends are fine, but I am always worried about those who cannot get access to fulfil their basic needs.”

Her drive saw close to 200 people benefiting from the donations. 

“I was very happy and proud of myself. Not many 15-year-olds can do what I’ve done. 

“This is the start of my dreams materialising, an achievement I’m not going to forget.” 

Reverend Vuyani Mnyabiso, from All Saints Anglican Church in Greenfields, nominated Amanye as a Local Hero.

He described her as a dedicated young girl.

“She is a young person but has a far-sighted attitude,” he said. “Everything she does, she does it with a purpose.

“Amanye is always willing and every project she does within the church is a success. She follows the principles of Jesus.”

Mnyabiso said she had taken on leadership positions in the church because of her positive attitude and enthusiasm.

“Although she is young, we have no doubt that something really great will come out of her,” he said.

“At church, she is always willing to help. She serves others with passion and goes the extra mile for everyone.

“After church, she even helps others with their school projects.”



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