Somalis give to the poor

2019-09-26 06:00
Ward 85 councillor Simthembile Mfecane surrounded by Somali nationals and beneficiaries of the food donated by the Somali community on Thursday 12 September at Nomzamo Community Hall.

Ward 85 councillor Simthembile Mfecane surrounded by Somali nationals and beneficiaries of the food donated by the Somali community on Thursday 12 September at Nomzamo Community Hall.

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In a show of ubuntu, Somali nationals ploughed back into the community that has helped them develop their businesses.

In almost every corner of the areas Lwandle, Nomzamo and Asanda Village a Somali spaza shop operates.

On Thursday 12 September Somali shop owners in these areas donated 50 hampers of food to needy residents.

The initiative was led by Councillor Simthembile Mfecane, who said he has engaged with Somalis for a while on such projects.

Ahmed Hashi Omar, one of the Somali leaders, said his countrymen met with the older people of the areas, who tend to be wiser and more circumspect, and came up with this idea.

“We decided to donate to the community that has been of help to us, based what we can afford,” he said. “We want the community to know that we not only expect from them, but can assist where we can too.”

Omar said the group contacted leaders of South African Civics Organisation (Sanco), street committees to help them locate those in need most.

“We know some people can’t afford to get through the day, to have something to eat,” he said. “We hope this will help a bit, and also show our appreciation for their support.”

Omar said they hoped to make more donations more often in future.

Mfecane lauded the Somali initiative to plough resources into these communities.

“There are a lot of unemployed people, and those who don’t get the social grant will benefit in this programme,” he said. “We requested the help of street committees in these areas to help us identify those in dire need of such assistance.”

Mfecane also called for others in the community who are in a position to help to come forward.

Cynthia Mhaga (67) thanked the Somalis for the gesture and hoped this can also guarantee reciprocal gestures from communities when they are attacked.

“Unfortunately it is not us, the older people, who go and loot their shops.

“But as older people we’ll look out for them when such things arise,” said Mhaga.

She said she was happy with the donations as it will help until the end of the month. The hampers had basic food items such as flour, mealie meal, rice, baked beans and fish oil.

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