Saturday afternoon proved to be overwhelming for Potsdam resident Viwe Mondile, who received a generous number of donations from kind-hearted people of Mdantsane. Community activist Siya Rumbu was responsible for organising the donations.
“I am a person who loves seeing smiles on people’s faces. I love helping those who do not have the resources for getting the basic essentials.I started helping people a few years ago, but I started taking it more seriously last year when I started the Make Zankqenkqe Smile group in September,” Rumbu said.
The Daily Dispatch previously reported (“East London mourns the face of Mdantsane”, January 17) how Rumbu, along with a number of volunteers, renovated the late Masixole Nelani’s home.
Nelani, who was affectionately known as “Zankqenkqe”, became a social media hit when a selection of photos of him, taken by commuters and people at social gatherings, were used as memes on Twitter and Facebook.
He was a marshal at the Mdantsane Highway taxi rank and was known for his entertaining banter in the township .
“Through a social media drive and the ‘Make Zankqenkqe Smile’ group, we were able to fix up his bathroom and kitchen, repaint his house and provide house appliances like a microwave and washing machine ,” Rumbu said.
“That was community work at its best, everyone who volunteered had been touched by Zankqenqke somehow.” Following the success of the project, Rumbu was asked by his friends and colleagues to carry on with the movement and was told about Mondile’s situation.
“On Saturday, we went to drop off some groceries, appliances and money with Mondile and also inspect his home, which is slowly falling apart,” Rumbu said.
“We went as a group and there were experienced builders who knew what is needed to be
done. “We also wanted to show Mondile that regardless of him living in such a poor condition, he has a family who cares for him.”
Rumbu said they also managed to secure a job for Mondile, so that he could have a source of income.
“He is only 22 years old, so we don’t want to watch him waste his life and turn to
criminal activities. “A friend of mine, Philani Mpanza, managed to secure a six-month contract for Mondile at a construction company.”
Rumbu said that Mondile wanted to go back to school. He advised him to save some
money first while he is working , and then register.
“We are planning on going back to Potsdam soon to renovate his home, and make a difference in the man’s life.”