Turning his passion into food for children

2018-07-31 06:01
Thulani Mzanyane is the founder of Feed a Child, Feed a Nation.PHOTO: nosipho mkhize

Thulani Mzanyane is the founder of Feed a Child, Feed a Nation.PHOTO: nosipho mkhize

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THULANI Mzinyane has a dream — to see children happy and educated. This dream has led him to start the initiative Feed a Child, Feed a Nation which aims at alleviating poverty by providing food to underprivileged children in Clermont schools.

Mzinyane (32), commonly known as “DJ Dash”, said he raises funds by organising and participating in various walks in different parts of the province, ranging between 10km and 30km. He recently completed one of his biggest events to date — walking from Johannesburg to Durban — in order to raise awareness for the initiative.

“Feed a Child, Feed a Nation was established in 2012 under the Senzo Foundation NGO. When I first started this initiative, I only had R 300, which was sponsored by three doctors from Clermont. With that money, I was able to buy food to donate to disadvantaged pupils in Clermont. I used to give them food parcels to take home however I realised that some pupils would lose their parcels while on their way home so then my friend and I decided to rather cook nutritious meals for the pupils to eat during lunch time,” Mzinyane said.

“I felt that a lot of people did not know much about the initiative so I decided to organise a walk from Ballito to Durban, in 2012, as a way to raise awareness — I basically wanted to grab people’s attention.”

He said he took a break from organising and participating in these walks for two years because he felt that people were not getting the idea behind raising awareness for Feed a Child, Feed a Nation.

“In 2016, I participated in another walk, however ,this time, I wanted to do it at a larger scale whereby I wanted more people, and the media, to be involved. I therefore walked from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Then, in 2017, I walked again from PMB to Durban and I got a response from people who were interested in what I do. Unfortunately, they were not supporting the initiative financially so, during the same year, I walked from Richards Bay to Durban. This time, however, I was preparing for the big walk from Johannesburg to Durban.”

About his big walk, Mzinyane said: “It took me 20 days to reach the finish line. I walked about 30 km a day, in total it was about 600 km. I didn’t take the N3 route because I had to sleep at B&B’s, family members or at a friend’s house. I had no sponsors — I only had a back pack and food sponsored from Chicken Express and a company called Thula. I just love what I do, I’m not a sportsman — I’m just an ordinary person with a passion for helping under privileged children.”

He said he wants to expand his initiative to other areas in KwaNyuswa and the INK area. That is why he is planning on starting a campaign called
#AdoptaSchool.

“I want various businesses and companies to adopt one school, whereby it will cater cooked food to pupils in various schools around KZN.”

Mzinyane said he doesn’t want money as donations however he pleaded with the public to donate food.

For further information about Feed a Child, Feed a Nation contact Mzinyane at 076 297 4942 or send an e-mail to
facfansa@gmail.com

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