IT WAS just two years ago when Laurette Mkati, 69, sold her home in the surburbs of Beacon Bay for a house in Msimango Street, Duncan Village. To this day, she says people still have questions about why a white woman would move in to a township.
“I moved here as an indication that God cares and I’m not here just passing by. I have been sent by the lLord and I am here to stay,” she said.
Laurette, who hails from Scotland, moved to South Africa 34 years ago as a missionary working on in the farms.
“I came in 1983 just to do hHighland dancing. I was fairly newly born again and I was asking questioning God about what should I should do with my life. Someone took brought me to Duncan Village and as someone from overseas this thing of apartheid was a shock to me,” she said.
She said she moved into the township in 2016 as part of a “Kingdom Community Deliverance and Transformation” project.
“The aim of the project is to bring transformation into the township with the understanding that the spiritual issues and natural issues are strong holes that are not physical. I have known the township and done work here before coming to stay full time.”
“When I came in again, I was shocked as I was thinking because we have democracy now, so after all these years things will change. But when I came, I realised the township is worse because back then when I used to come, it was not densely populated and there were not all these shacks,” said Mkati.
She said she found that there were high levels of poverty, drunkenness, people with no direction and no determination in the township.
Mkati works with children, the elderly and schools.
“The school work is our focus. because we are trying to create a mindset in children. It’s difficult to change the mindset of the elderly, so we are doing it through the schools and through the ministries with children,” she said. . We give children t-shirts with ‘I love Jesus, I love Duncan Village’ written on them to try to get them to love where they come from because in most cases when they get older they want to move out,” she said.
She said ever since they started praying in schools things had changed, schools had been fenced by the government and teachers were more encouraged.
Mkati speaks Xhosa fluently and said she is not scared of staying in the township.
“I sold my house in Beacon Bay and used the small savings I had to buy this house. It is now my home, the only home I have because I have sold my house in Scotland and used the money for the work of God I do here.I’m here to stay, at least for as long as God wants me to stay.” she said.
Msimango Street ward-committee Nkuluyake Makwetyana said they have accepted Mkati as part of the community.
“She does a lot of great work with the children, activities with the children. And we have never been called for reports of any crime in her home. We are living in a rainbow nation and we have accepted her as part of our community,” he said.