Police officer says ‘education is power’

2018-02-13 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedUmthombomuhle Intermediate School pupls with Constable Mbonisi Khomo.

PHOTO: suppliedUmthombomuhle Intermediate School pupls with Constable Mbonisi Khomo.

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AS a young boy growing up under the care of his grandparents in Zibuse Village in Hammersdale, Constable Mbonisi Khomo (31) knew that he was destined to uplift and develop the community.

“I have always been different and always wanted to do things differently,” he said.

When Khomo was 14-years-old, he and his peers started Sakhisizwe Youth Organisation, an organisation that cleaned up the community and encouraged reading and drawing among the youth.

Khomo is a now a communications officer at Hammersdale SAPS and passionate about community development, which saw him win the 2018 Man of the Year award during the National Excellence Awards which were held at the Durban ICC.

In 2004, he started a youth desk. After completing matric, he was unable to continue with his studies and he then became a police reservist while working as a security guard.

In 2012, he was employed as a permanent member of the SAPS.

On top of his crime-fighting initiatives, he facilitated and spearheaded the establishment of Inhlanzani, a group of local farmers who contribute positively to the fight against stock theft, and has introduced the practice of brand marking the livestock.

He also facilitated a joint safety and security venture whereby Hammersdale police work with five security companies to fight crime.

Khomo has launched five sub forums and has secured sponsorships from a NPC, a local company which provides the community policing structures and has provided good governance training to Community Policing Forum members.

He is also a victim empowerment co-ordinator and has eight volunteers working with him who have helped about 1 000 clients.

Khomo believes that education is power and he also believes that the value of education is in teaching and empowering the next person.

Based on his belief, he taught volunteers all there is to know about helping others.

Gugu Mkhasibe, who he taught how to manage the victim friendly centre, said: “My colleagues and I are products of Constable Khomo’s lessons. He taught us so much about helping the community and he is a living example to us.”

In 2015, Khomo became unsettled with seeing young people in Hammersdale having nothing constructive to do during school holidays, so he established Be a Leader project, which teaches the youth about life skills and leadership skills.

To date, the project has 120 children and 20 of them have successfully completed basic computer skills courses, while six have acquired their learner driver’s licences and are in the process of getting their driver’s licences.

He has also established a sports academy whereby youngsters engage in soccer, netball, and athletics. Khomo has also adopted nine schools where he provides safety and security workshops.

Khomo started an organisation with local graduates and tertiary students called Zibuse Village Student Movement, to collectively provide free tutorials to high school pupils in the community.

He is also recruiting private companies to fund local pupils who have been accepted at tertiary institutions with registration fees and at least meals for the first few months while they wait for their NSFAS funding.

He also started a reading project at Sinenzuzo Primary School which is aimed at promoting literacy among pupils.

Constable Khomo says he is not doing all this to advance himself but to ensure that no youngster is without an education.

— Supplied

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