Gugs survived through role models

2018-05-03 06:00
GUGS@SIXTYGeoff Mamputa

GUGS@SIXTYGeoff Mamputa

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The lack of role models in the townships have always been a bone of contention to many.

However, what is the veracity of this statement.

We do and always have had role models in abundance, depending what we look for in one, that is the challenge, plus the fact that thina zidarkie we always look at others, especially those of other races in our search for role models.

In the past 60 years Gugs, has produced women and men who deeply cared for this community- in spite of the grinding poverty, the lack of opportunities, the lack of amenities- who soared way above their circumstances.

They may not be in the newspapers, radio or TV, they do not drive smart cars, or are highly educated, but, through pure grit, hard work, creativity and mentoring others without even realizing it, helping others to realize their own potential.

These are ordinary township folks who we mostly walk past, without so much as a second glance.

Ngulotata or mama wayekubuza okokuba ufuna ntoni elokshini ngexesha leskolo, daai Olady elijampisayo okokuba likubhaqa uyotsheka section 2 ube uhlala esection 3. Latata wooswayi, eish kanene abanye ababazi oosway, lo uyokuxela kokwenu xa ukoswayi ngexesha lesgela okanye ubamba istaff kwigaro or imomba.

Eish! Igaro yitrain, imomba yi bus, istaff kuleqa ezizinto to show off emajiteni.

Some of them ngabaMiss base library who instilled an appreciation of books in you, kuthi qatha uMiss Ndungane, ababenifundisa iArt eCentre like ooBhut Ben Office, people who introduced us to unknown sports, table tennis, badminton, gymnastics nezinye.

uMr Ben Malamba. He is one of only two black people who played for the South African team in Cricket and Rugby, Mam Ray, as she was known who later became Pro Mthethwa, who founded iiCommunity Centres and saved many of us from a potential life of crime, she deserves a column on her own as many of these people do.

They, in turn nurtured directly or indirectly people like oProf Mbekwa, Advocate Mgoqi, Joe Ndiki, Ernest Henda, Charles Mehana and of course, Dr Tita August nabo Dlelanga Nyewe, who, in my view is an art genius, though you will never find any of his works in any gallery.

Some of these people went on to serve this community well, like ooTsopey. Most of these people and many, many others who were the products zase Centre went on to achieve much and ploughed back in this community.

I enjoy the outdoors and walking trails, not because I am a clever black(ibhujwa) or went to Model C, because I was introduced to hiking and camping through the boys club eKhwezi Community Centre.

Leadership skills were honed through the different youth clubs where one learnt to plan, budget, organize and fund-raising in our teen years.

These are skills that have served many well into their careers without even realizing. These selfless sacrifices people are still amongst us, greeting us everyday. Sometimes we avoid them because bezoba behova into eninzi, besilibazisa because impilo bayayitsala.

These are my heroes and heroines who have made Gugs a better place, out of the sandy plains and despondence characterised by forced removals which was meant to destroy us. They provided hope, guidance and made us believe in ourselves. We are Gugs, Trozo and Nyanga West and we pay tribute to you. Next time you complain about no role models in the township, iyakuthi kanti yile udlula kuyo everyday qha wena ujonge umntu othe patatyu.

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