In keeping with the Mandela Day celebrations, a group of Durban University of Technology Community Development second-year students as well as staff devoted 67 minutes of their time at the Zama Zulu Nkosi Centre’s Old Age Home and Day Care Centre, KwaMashu.
This initiative, done in partnership with eThekwini Municipality’s Department of Environmental Health Services was proposed by a former DUT student Silindile Madondo who is now serving her internship at the Municipality.
It was Madondo’s wish to do something meaningful to honour former president Nelson Mandela and she could not think of a better way. Her supervisor; Melody Thabethe, a Senior Environmental Health Practitioner welcomed the suggestion. Thabethe recruited staff members to assist in the old age home. Students went all out to make the elderly feel special They sang, washed windows, scrubbed floors, gave manicures and pedicures, did the old ladies’ hair and gave men haircuts. DUT students also donated sweets and tooth brushes while Bridge City SPAR Supermarket donated fruit hampers.
George Mdlozini, DUT Community Health Studies lecturer said he was delighted about Madondo’s idea and wanted his students to be involved. “It is always good to provide students with practical work so that when they get to the industry, they know exactly what is required of them”, said Mdlozini.
The 49 students were delighted to extend a helping hand where needed. For them, the experience also served as a learning curve for their chosen career.
Thembeka Muthwa, one of the students said, “It’s a very good experience and it is rewarding to know that you have done well for other people. That’s why I chose this course”, said the student.
The faces of the children and the elderly beamed with joy. The elderly could not stop thanking the students for their kindness. MaMbambo Ngwane (78) said, “I am very grateful to these youngsters, it makes us feel important, and it shows that we are not forgotten. This is what we call Ubuntu,” she said.
Linda Mhlongo, the Zama Zulu Nkosi Centre Director thanked the group for its contribution. “Our motto is ‘God never forsakes believers’,” she said.
– Nomvula Sikakane
Caption: George Mdlozini, DUT Community Health Studies lecturer (second from the right) works with staff from the eThekwini Municipality to plant a tree of hope at the Zama Zulu Nkosi Centre’s Old Age Home and Day Care Centre in KwaMashu. Last week’s initiative was part of Mandela Day celebrations.