Young society holds big meet

2017-02-23 06:00

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Ubuntu Bethu Burial Society celebrated its second year of existence by holding its inaugural and groundbreaking Annual General Meeting recently.

The dignified affair, held at the Oakdale Club in Belville, was a watershed for the organisation, according to the chairperson and one of the founding members of the society.

“The prophets of doom seating in some dark corner had already written the obituary of this society,” said Sidiya Thompson in his opening remarks.

But the organisation’s motto-Motho Ke Botho Ka Batho-, he said, kept the wheels of the society turning, because without the people who had faith in its success, the organisation would have floundered in its infancy.

“But here we are, still standing, strong,” he added.

Among other topics that came up for discussion was the amendment to the constitution, the setting up of a business venture to benefit members, strategies for growth and the possible inclusion of females in the general membership arm of the organisation.

According to Velile Ndiki, who is the secretary of the burial society, the organisation was formed after the demise of Skhumbuzo Hogana, who died destitute in 2015.

“Skhumbuzo Hogana, a socialite, a hero in our township terms and a friend to everyone that happened to come across him,” he said.

Ndiki said friends of Hogana banded together and collected enough funds for his burial, the surplus of which was handed over to his children.

Donations were solicited from local business people and other well-known personalities from around the townships.

Reflecting on this and other hurdles since the founding of the organisation, Thompson said “it has been a long and painful journey,” as the organisation had stumbled over many challenges from naysayers, who questioned the integrity of the people involved in its establishment.

According to Ndiki, the organisation has clear-cut strategies that will see its membership rise to meet the needs of a society that sneers at the prospect of a pauper burial for their family members, financial constraints notwithstanding.

“Since we are underwritten by a reputable insurance company in African Unity Insurance, member’s premiums and claims are guaranteed,” he said.

He added that the organisation proved its mettle after the demise of Mzwandile Dywili last year.

Dywili was one of the original founders of the society.

As part of the extended strategy, Ndiki said, roadshows will be held around Langa, Gugulethu, Nyanga and Khayelitsha to recruit new membership.

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