By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
Sunday January 1, 2023 will be the day that marks the beginning of the brand New Year The reality though is that there is currently not enough employment opportunities for those willing to work and capable of working., Not enough money for school fees. Not enough money to buy clothes. Not enough to buy food. Not enough hope for the future. Not enough for everything for the poor and the middle class. And give another disturbing reality – the widening gap between the poor and the rich, it is easy to then suggest that the country faces a bleak future in the near and middle term.
However this is a country whose people are known for their generosity and their capacity for resilience that sees them often ride a rough of a tough ride and become triumphant at the end. There are several examples of these virtues that the world has witnessed about South Africa and its diverse population. It is perhaps important to also recapture a few of those moments.
Mandela’s spirit of reconciliation, necessary to build a nation that for years was brutalised and dehumanised by the segregation policies of apartheid. That spirit and the capacity to reconcile with enemies, till this day surprised even his former enemies and potential future enemies.
Then comes the Constitution crafted on the table by bitter enemies to come out with a nation building document that the world agreed was probably the best constitution the world has ever witnessed crafted by a people yearning to leave the past where it belonged and build a future that promised social justice and equality for all. under the law.
The powerful and the vulnerable. Former violators of human rights and victims of the violators’ actions in equal measure. Today many a citizen, both powerful and vulnerable have an equal chance of receiving justice when aggrieved and taking their grievance to the Constitutional Court, which is the final arbiter when it comes to matters of justice.
However it is at the grass root level where social justice should prevail. It is ordinary people who can make a difference to the lives of those less privileged, particularly during this time of the year when the difference between those who have and those who do not becomes most pronounced in society. This is because a richer neighbour will be celebrating with their family, while a poorer neighbour will not be. It however takes a richer neighbour to make the life of a poorer neighbour a little bit bearable, no matter how ephemeral the gesture is. Giving that excess food, clothes, anything to a poorer neighbour during this time can be the difference in staving starvation or a bleak festive season for your neighbour.
One person has done just that. Using the influence that comes with her title of being Mrs Mpumalanga to share some of the privileges that come with that title with her community in emalahleni in Mpumalanga. That gesture by Ntombi Ngobese Mrs Mpumalanga 2021 two weeks ago made sure that less privileged families at least enjoyed Christmas festivities on a full stomach in her surrounding communities. Can you imagine what a huge difference that gesture and spirit of generosity would have made in the lives of many people in that community If she had more food parcels to distribute and had managed to reach more people.
In fact Mrs Mumalanga 2021, Ntombi Ngobese has been doing great work with regards to charity work ever since she took the title..
Two weeks ago, the weekend before the Crustnas weekend, she made many an underprivileged person smile in the community as she distributed Christmas hampers to them in eMalahleni association with Mpumalanga GTI crew and from family finance. She managed to raise 25 x 25 L Christmas Hampers buckets to give away to the community of eMalahleni in an area called eMpumelelweni. The hampers were distributed to the old people (Grandmothers and Grandfathers). Tis food made a difference to those families who otherwise would have faced a bleak Christmas.
“The reason I chose grandparents is because my grandparents were always good to all their grandchildren. Grandmothers always sacrifice things to give us the comfort that we need. I know whatever grandparents have, they share with everyone else in the family. So, giving to the grandparents is like giving the whole family,” she told CITYLIFE/ARTS
“Competing in Mrs Mpumalanga made me to learn the skills required to assist other people, using my title to benefit the community. Prior to being crowned, I could only donate from my pocket only. However, after winning the crown, I was able to give on a much greater scale by combining my own contribution with donations and sponsorships from people and organizations.
I have been involved in a variety of philanthropic endeavours, including distributing Christmas hampers on an annual basis, organizing a blanket drive during the winter, fighting against gender-based violence, motivating people, donating clothes and shoes and offering career advice. Requesting for donations is not an easy thing to do, patience is required to complete all of these tasks. However the reason for sharing this information is not to brag about giving, but to encourage people to reach-out to the community and help the nation. It is not easy to wake up in the morning and look for the community to reach out too, but if there are opportunities where one can donate as an individual, you can do so. There is power in giving and the hand that gives, never runs empty. I would like to acknowledge all the people who donated and my husband Kennedy Ngobese for his support.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge Pastor Ngomane and His team for collecting all the people and put them in one place to make the distribution of the hampers easy,” Ngobese said.
Mrs Mpumalanga has done it for her community in eMalahleni ensuring that those less privileged at least had food on the table on Christmas Day. You tto can do it by giving away whatever excess something you have to your less privileged members ahead of the new year on Sunday, January 1, 3034, so that at least they have an injection of hope as they café the new year ahead of them. It could be food. It could be clothes. It could be employment in the form of a ‘piece job’. Anything that will make their lives a little bit better.
Happy 2023!-Edward Tsumele, Editor, CITYLIFE/ARTS.