Madiba’s spirit lives on in small gift of a medal

2015-09-09 11:45
Jordy Savides hands flowers to Akash Singh while wearing the medal she gave to him after the Mandela Day Half-Marathon two weekends ago.

Jordy Savides hands flowers to Akash Singh while wearing the medal she gave to him after the Mandela Day Half-Marathon two weekends ago. (Ian Carbutt)

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THE Mandela Day Marathon medal story came full circle yesterday when Akash Singh returned to the Mandela Capture Site to ­receive flowers and chocolates in thanks for the medal she handed over two weeks ago.

Durban resident Mark Savides suffered severe pain in his feet during the last four kilometres of the half-marathon and had started walking when a woman began talking and walking with him. The two chatted about the race and their families but did not exchange names.

Savides, owner of SavSon Finance, told the woman, whom he later identified as Pietermaritzburg resident Akash Singh, that the worst part of the race would be seeing his two young sons fighting over who got to keep his medal.

However, at the finish Singh immediately handed her medal to Savides and, with the words, “Now your boys won’t have to fight”, disappeared into the crowd. Savides posted the story on Facebook, The Witness tracked Singh down and a reunion was ­organised by uMgungundlovu District ­Municipality Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee at the ­Capture Site in Howick yesterday afternoon.

Personal financial adviser Singh and ­Bhamjee were chatting in the light drizzle and mist that surrounded the site when Savides arrived with sons Jordy (4) and Ryan (3) in tow.

The boys handed Singh a big bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates before giving her a big hug.

The group received VIP medals and Mandela Day goodie bags from Bhamjee, who said Singh and Savides’s story perfectly captured ­Madiba’s legacy of selflessness and giving.

As Savides lifted Jordy and Ryan back into the car to leave for Durban, Singh handed the two a gift bag with puzzle books.

The boys immediately took to the books and were immersed before Savides could drive off.

Singh said the highlight of the day was ­meeting the children.

“I couldn’t wait to meet the children. They are so precious,” she said.

Singh and Savides said they were glad they could meet again and planned to do casual runs and races together in the future.

“In life you do so much for so many people, but not many people appreciate the little things I have done, and this is something that has no price attached to it,” said Singh.

She said she would give the medal from ­every race she ran with Savides to his sons.

Savides said he was glad Singh’s selflessness had been recognised and that everyone had responded so positively to “such a simple deed”.

The incident showed what Madiba meant when he said: “Sport has the power to unite people in a way little else does.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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