Local NGO’s spirit of ubuntu spreads, but for final touch

2010-07-14 00:00

A LOCAL non-governmental organisation (NGO) called the Ubuntu Awareness Committee is nearing completion on a project that has seen members of the Edendale community working together to create their own piece of history.

On May 22 Simphiwe Josephs, co-founder of the committee, and about 30 other Edendale residents climbed to the top of the Sanzwili hillside in Edendale to begin work on painting rocks and stones in the colour of the South African flag.

The flag, which is currently incomplete due to the NGO’s lack of funding to purchase blue paint, can be seen all the way from Hilton.

“We wanted to do something special for the World Cup,” Josephs said.

“We had children from Sanzwili Primary School helping us and it has been a great way for the community to come together in unity.”

The words “Sanzwili Home of Harry Gwala” appear next to the national flag, paying homage to the late freedom fighter who lived in the Sanzwili area.

Josephs says that locals who had initially laughed at the idea have since come around and people can be seen walking up the hillside daily to take a closer look at the painted rocks.

“We even had two aircraft circling the mountain, perhaps taking photos of the flag,” he said. “We will be maintaining the artwork and ensuring it stays there forever. When it is finished, it can be turned into a heritage site or a tourist attraction.”

The Ubuntu Awareness Committee, founded in 2004, has organised past events that have been aimed at bringing the Sanzwili community together. Four seven-a-side football tournaments, street football events and netball matches have all recently been organised by the NGO.

“We aim to show people that it is not only themselves and their families that they must think about, but their communities as well,” said an enthusiastic Josephs.

Josephs plans to finish the flag, which stretches for more than 45 m, before the end of July, but says that he has been unable to get any funding from local municipalities to help purchase the blue paint needed to complete the project.

Anybody who would like to help Josephs, by contributing either financially or by providing the blue paint required, can do so by contacting him on 076 070 3683.

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