‘Mrs Million’ feeds her true passion

2016-07-26 06:00
Mr Million, Theunis Volschenk and Nondumiso ‘Mrs Million’ Phehlukwayo at the Early Morning Market. Photo: nosipho mkhize

Mr Million, Theunis Volschenk and Nondumiso ‘Mrs Million’ Phehlukwayo at the Early Morning Market. Photo: nosipho mkhize

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FOR Nondumiso Phehlukwayo (50), affectionately known as “Mrs Million”, her passion is to help disadvantaged people, which led her to starting a non-profit organisation - Maqoshe Batyam - in 2010.
“The name Maqhose Batyam comes from a Xhosa phrase meaning ‘I will work with all my strength to achieve my dreams’. My husband and I help disadvantaged families and disabled people.

“The organisation assists people who are infected and affected by HIV and Aids, assists matriculants to further their studies. We train people in gardening, empower people with various skills and conduct awareness campaigns. We help all races, ages and gender.

“At the moment we use my house as an office, but we do home visits for disabled and disadvantaged people. I have 40 clients that I assist, 11 of whom are disabled.

“Before I started selling vegetables at the market I used to have bakkies from where I sold vegetables in the community. Most of my customers were very poor and it saddened me to see people in that condition, so the money I made from selling the vegetables was used to buy groceries for that particular customer and deliver them to their home.
“One day I was approached by a member of an organisation called Isolempilo that takes care of more than 60 disabled people and they wanted me to provide vegetables for their residents every month.

“Isolempilo members advised me to establish an organisation seeing that I help them so freely. That’s when I got in contact with Muzi Mthethwa from Seda who directed me to the right channels. However, they registered my organisation as a non-profit company [NPC] in 2010. Things did not work out as planned because my business failed after all my bakkies were written off.

“Later that year I came across a lady called Hlophe from KwaNyuswa who had an NGO that help the community. She advised me to register my organisation as an NPO not a NPC so I could get assistance from government. The organisation was then registered as an NPO in 2014.

“The organisation recently conducted an event for community women. We held talks about the importance of being women and various ways on how to be independent by learning how to do hand work such as sewing, crafting and gardening.
“At the moment the organisation gets food from Boxer every month to give to the poor, however, we welcome all forms of donations.”

Theunis Volschenk, who is homeless and is assisted by Nondumiso said: “I came here looking for a job. Nondumiso and her husband were generous and gave me one. I live in a shelter for the homeless and it’s been really hard for me. I thank these good Samaritans for providing me with a job by helping them sell vegetables.”
For more information, phone 073 607 8285 or 076 321 2360.

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