As many across the country celebrated the advent of freedom in 1994, a Khayelitsha man Thabane Samson Mangcu was fighting for the well-being of pets in his community.
Today his efforts are recognised by many in his community and beyond.
In an interview with City Vision, Mangcu shared how, in 1994, he used to bath and dip dogs in his backyard for R1.
His dedication soon attracted the interest of numerous volunteers, including children. He later received a bath that was used to dip tick- and flea-infested pets in.
Later, a shipping container, which turned out to be Khayelitsha’s first-ever animal clinic, was donated. The facility was named Mdzananda Animal Clinic.
Saturday 13 November marked 25 years since the clinic officially began rendering services to the community.
The clinic, situated at Mandela Park now, treats more than 1 000 pets a month. It also offers shelter to homeless pets and has a number of outreach programmes.
Throughout, it has the pets’ human companions at the forefront, educating, earning trust and working with them to become the best pet guardians.
Mangcu said he is proud to see some strides made by the clinic. It has not only created jobs, but also equipped people to look after their pets better.
Prior to opening the clinic, Mangcu said people from the area had to travel to Khaya Bazaar in Khayelitsha. “I am happy to see this place turning 25 years old, because it adds so much value for animals in Khayelitsha,” he said. “I love dogs so much, and people don’t believe when I tell them I have to budget for my dogs every month. Dogs have their own nutrition and from time to time also need medication.”
Dr Brian Bergman, the clinic’s Senior Veterinarian, said over the past 25 years he noticed a significant shift in people’s mindsets. “Where previously pets were simply objects protecting the home, many of them are now companions sleeping in peoples’ beds,” he said. “Our welfare services and educational programmes have really transformed many pet lovers in the community.”
Lazola Sotyingwa, now one of the animal welfare assistants, used to help Mangcu as a child. “In the beginning we had no running water or electricity. We carried buckets of water and ran extension cables from the neighbours. Today we are big, and we help so many animals. It’s thanks to Mr Joe (nickname for Mangcu) that the pets of Khayelitsha have help today.”
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the facility has launched a special birthday edition of the 2022 calendar, featuring 12 artworks, crafted by local artists to illustrate the heart and soul of Mdzananda. Calendars can be purchased at outlets listed on www.mdzananda.co.za or by emailing email@example.com.
“Our work has been possible thanks only to generous donors, supporters, monthly Paw Members and partners,” said Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager. “Without this support we could never have reached this enormous milestone.”
If you wish to support the organisation into its next 25 years, please donate to Mdzananda Animal Clinic, become a Paw Member (monthly donor) at www.mdzanandasecure.co.za, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mdzananda.co.za.