Community builder Jama passes on

2017-10-12 06:00
JThe late Jama Katangana

JThe late Jama Katangana

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The Langa community is reeling after suffering the loss of Jama Katangana, who has been described as a selfless and passionate community developer.

The father of three was instrumental in the success of Nants’ingqayi Arts Development, where young people were groomed as performers.

His grieving family said that they already missed the friendly gentleman and hope that his demise will raise awareness about cancer.

Jama,55, will be laid to rest after a long battle with lung cancer.

“We(already) miss having him around,” said Ketani Katangana, an elder brother who watched him struggle during the later stages of the disease.

“He was a dedicated man who remained fair, strict and honest.

We watched him suffer and trying to hide the pain, but it was plain to see.

We hope that people will realise that cancer is not a foreign disease; that it happens to us as well,” said Ketani.

“He loved community work, although not the full extent, because of limitations of resources. He will be solely missed,” he said.

Thoko Ntshinga, the founder of Ingqayi said: “When Jama joined Nants’ingqayi Arts Development, he became the only man in the executive team. We would tease him, saying: ‘Jobela phakathi kweentakazana’.

He believed in engaging young girls with skills that were otherwise offered to boys, so when he approached the Woolworths group, it was to buy Djembe drums for the girl children.

We received 13 drums. It proved to be a success when the group of girls were invited to drum during the 2010 world cup,” Ntshinga recalled.

She added that when Katangana fell ill, he was preparing a proposal for a project he called Man VS Man.

“This is a project that was supposed to deal with women abuse. This is after another project called Bash or Be Bashed’, which we believed would also be a success,” she said.

Katangana worked for retailer Woolworths for 22 years before his health deteriorated.

Temba Ngono, Woolworths Head of Property Portfolio and Facilities, said Katangana was a brand ambassador for the company and lived its values.

“We remember him as a go-getter, a family man and a man who had a vision , for himself and for the business.

He was an entrepreneur and took advantage of the captive market the Woolworths Head office environment offered him. Ngono said that in 2015 they celebrated Katangana’s 20th anniversary in the company. Katangana will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Call Ketani for details: 0722326234.

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