Giving back until it hurts

2017-03-28 06:03
PHOTO: kalisha naickerIvan Ikes has been nominated as a community hero after selflessly helping those in need.

PHOTO: kalisha naickerIvan Ikes has been nominated as a community hero after selflessly helping those in need.

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GROWING up with an alcoholic and abusive father made Ivan Ikes’ childhood different to that of his friends.

There were no birthday parties, he couldn’t invite friends over and having a constant place to call home was a dream.

His life was one based on dodging bullets - literally. He grew up with two sisters and five brothers and majority of his siblings turned to a life of drug abuse and gangs. Sadly, Ikes lost his father and his youngest brother to drugs and made a promise to himself that he would never use alcohol or drugs and let it ruin his life.

He joined a Pentecostal church in his neighbourhood and with the help of the women in the community, he overcame his circumstances and made a life for himself.

He now uses this experience to selflessly assist those in need.

“The turning point in my life was when I turned 12, I made a vow to myself that if I ever have children, I will always ensure that they had a roof over their head,” he said.

“During the school holidays in standard seven I got a job as a labourer at La Nouva shoes that paid R14 a week. When the holidays were over, my mom asked me to leave school and keep working as our family needed the money and I did.

“A few years later when I was 18 I was offered an apprentice at Box Brothers and worked my way up to be a qualified roofing contractor,” said Ikes.

He said that at 21 he married and eventually started his own business.

“These are some of the blessings in my life and it is because people helped me along the way, and it is now my time to do what I can to help others.

“I grew up with nothing. I know what it is like to not have food, clothing and transport, and my philosophy in life is to ‘give until it hurts’. I will do all I can to help other less fortunate residents in my community,” said the inspirational go-getter.

Some of ways Ikes helps in his community is by opening his home to recovering addicts and he allows them to stay until they are back on their feet.

He transported a child and father to hospital when they did not have any help after reading an appeal on Facebook and he even helped a family return to their home in Cape Town after relocating to Durban and losing everything.

He regularly does roofing free of charge to many schools and NPOs as well.

All of the above was a selfless service that Ikes provided, and the only reward he gets is by giving others a chance when they have none.

He says: “God cannot bless a closed hand, I open up my heart, home and hands daily to those in need and I know God will bless me back tenfold.”

“I want to leave a legacy that my children can be proud of and I also want to thank my family for always being understanding towards my charitable work.”

In business, Ikes uses 10 percent of his profits to give back to the community in any way he can.

He said that he does not do this for fame and he hopes others can follow in his footsteps.

“If everyone can just give a little, what a huge difference it will make to our world. We all can make a difference if only we try,” he added.

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