Mdantsane is a unique, vibrating, eclectic, African place. Follow us on a pilgrimage to Mdantsane to discover the street culture, fashion, food, people, music, homes, taverns, humor, businesses, history and what's hot in the second biggest township in South-Africa, located close to the city of East London in the Province of the Eastern Cape. Join us on this journey while we capture the spirit of this amazing place for you in the here and in the now. We are going to introduce you to many individuals, artists, musicians, groups and associations.
They are the HEROES OF DAILY LIFE. They are the people who create, innovate and improve their life and their stories deserve to be told. This is a place for only good and positive stories of humanity, that will send out a message of courage, endurance and strength to the world through their pictures and words.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

People Are People Through Other People

The Sizamile Soup Kitchen In NU 5

Between 20  to 40 people of all ages come to the Soup Kitchen in NU 5 to get a hot meal on Wednesdays. 
The Sizamile Women's Group was established in 2005 by 19 women. The soup kitchen was launched in the same year.

A letter was handed over to us when we visited them so that we could read their story.
We want to use their own unchanged words to re-tell it to you:

" We started this project ; a certain old man came to us and asked for food. He was so destitute although he receives grant. The grant is insufficient to fulfill his needs. We met as women to solve the problem, we established a soup kitchen in order to meet with this problem. We collected some cash and bought rice, mince-meat and vegetables.

Many of the destitute came to have some meals. They were rationed from Monday to Friday. Four of the women withdrew they could not afford to give money to buy the food items. Only the eleven of us who is still on the project.
We decided to cook for them once a week. We chose to feed them on Wednesdays. The number of them has risen to 40. Six of them are bed-ridden. We visit and feed them at their homes. We are feeding the elderly people."

The government of South Africa as a young democracy has established an extensive social grant system over the years to support and help the people that have been disadvantaged under the Apartheid system and as an answer to the needs of those who are living below the minimum income level or who are in the true sense of the word destitute. 
There are a variety of social grants available for the elders, aids orphans, HIV positive people, disabled people and many more.

The necessary distribution of these grants initially instituted because of the high level of unemployment has now led to another social phenomena. The grants are often not used for their original destined purpose but they help to feed complete families. A social grant or a pension of an elderly person might help contribute to bring the grandchildren through school or pay electricity and water. A cycle that is incredibly hard to break.

This soup kitchen was set up in the spirit of UBUNTU.

Ubuntu is an African Word.

In the Xhosa language Ubuntu means " People are People Through Other People".

Reference to the word Ubuntu is made on all levels of government in South Africa and in all social circles.

We dare to say Ubuntu is most alive and strong with the people who are still very close to earth. 
With the working class.
 " The Salt Of The Earth ".
We call them the Heroes of Daily Life. Our book is about them.

These courageous women have meanwhile created an NGO and have applied for funds with the Department of Social Development. But they are still funding their activities with their own funds.

The younger ones who can, take care of the others who can not care for themselves anymore.

The Spirit of Ubuntu is alive in every NU in Mdantsane.

To the  two ladies who are the initiators of this group Mrs H. Mandleleni and Miss. T Bokoloshe

1 comment:

  1. You have a wonderful way of engaging with the people you photograph. Your portraits are beautiful and full of humanity. Thank you for sharing them



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