November 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
BY ZAMA KHUMALO
The four children that were found dead in a fridge last week left a space that no one will replace in the hearts of their respective families.
These were some of the words that poured when flowers were read out during the funeral service at the Thuthukani hall in Ermelo.
Junior Shoba (4), Lethu Malaza (6), Njabulo Sibiya (7) and Gift Zulu, also 7, died when they suffocated on 11 November after an old refridgerator kept outdoor by a neighbour locked them inside.
“Pre-school will no longer be the same without you,” one woman said of one of the children.
Another woman told the Magudvu reporter: “It will be very difficult to live without Njabulo. Njabulo had just started school. Any parent will find it very difficult to replace a child, especially one like him.”
The funeral was attended by several community leaders and dignitaries, including heads of police, bishops, Ermelo mayor Jabulani Bongwe and PAC president Alton Mphethi.
The program director asked Mphethi to stand up and speak during the service. Mphethi, who expressed shock at the death of the children, told the fully packed hall that he was related to one of the families of the children.
“To the families that lost the children we say what happened is really saddening. We know that God has certain ways he do his things. But I say that these families are lucky in that the children are not from one family. We thank that the children are from various families because if one family had lost such a huge number it would be grossly painful. We hope that tomorrow we will, all of us as responsible parents, keep a watch on our children. I thank you,”
Mphethi told the Magudvu reporter on the sideline of the funeral that his party, the Pan Africanist Congress, was calling on the cops to conduct thorough investigations “to establish who was at foul” when the children died.
Emerlo mayor Bongwe thanked the various Ermelo commuties for joining hands together and their show of support for one another.
“We as government we wish to see this continuing because of our belief that united we are strong.”
Bongwe, who also thanked Pfunani Funeral chairperson Ernest Ngwenya (37) for providing a world-class funeral service for free to the bereaved, said he heard about the death of the children on the same day of 11 November through the cops whoo phoned him while he attended an executive meeting with Premier David Mabuza.
November 6, 2014 § Leave a comment
BY ZAMA KHUMALO
A developing businesswoman in Ermelo has told our staff that in a time that is nearer she sees BIG things coming her way.
“I see myself running big clothes bisinesses and employing hundred of poeple. I also see myself running several motivational programs across the country – to allow our people to stand up and do things for themselves,” she said.
Anna Lindy Matsane (47) held a 3-hour long exclusive interview with the Magudvu site team and opened up to the journalist what is within the Nometha Trading Enterprises, a company she founded in 2007.
Anna scooped the 7th annual Eskom Business Investment Competition awards held at the Kyalami Theatre in Johannesburg. The awards are held yearly by the state enterprise’s Development Foundation to recognise growing small businesses in South Africa.
According to CEO Haylene Liberty-Nel the competitions are a “flagship project; one mechanism we are using to stimulate and encourage the growth of small businesses, which in turn create employment opportunities in local communities.”
Anna’s company manufactures traditional African clay pots and calabashes. She also uses animal skins to produce scatter cushions, jembe drums, traditional attire, sandals and very beautiful shields which had attracted a lot of people. Apart from decorative arts, Anna also sews any type of clothes.
Anna hails from a small village in Bushbuckridge called Chochocho or Dingleydale.
When our team arrived at her shop located in Emerlo CDB where she does manufacturing and owns 18 very large sewing machines, including an embroidery and industrial overlock machines, Anna explained where she actually comes from.
“You see,” she demonstrated with hands, “I never thought even once I’ll be doing this for a living. When I was still growing up in Chochocho, my grand-mother Hlawulane Maphanga used to sew clothes for the local villagers. She did this for a living and myself and other five children growing up in the house this was something occuring in our daily experience,” she said.
Two of the children Anna was raised in the house were gogo Maphanga’s children and the other three were grand-children.
But only Anna and one of gogo Maphanga’s children, Queen Maphanga(now 48), were able to grasp Gogo Maphanga’s sewing talents. But then Queen was not interested in sewing, giving Anna more time to work with gogo.
Gogo Maphanga, the mother of Anna’s mother and who was born in the same Mpumalanga surroundings of Bushbuckridge, started almost anything afresh using needles and threads, including mates, blankets for dogs and bags for the white farmers.
The area of Chochocho is known in South African map for tomatoe, orange, mango and litchie farming.
But by 1997, and when Gogo Maphanga was now becoming a bit old, Anna was now independent from her and sewed clothes for Chochocho residents, mainly farm-workers.
She moved to live in Ermelo in 1999. Explaining this, Anna said: “There is business this side than in Chochocho. Unlike back in Chochocho where there is only farm-workers, here the economy is made out of various kinds of activities.”
Ermelo, a town located in the centre part of Mpumalanga, was founded in the 1800s on coal mining and agriculture and is now as big as any developed town in the world, with all the sectors.
The year 2007, marked a promising journey for Anna. Here, she registered Nometha Trading Enterprise – the company she says she is prepared to fight with and win.
Nometha Trading Enterprise has been hired by various mining companies and the residents of Ermelo and Mpumalanga at large to manufacture and sew overalls, manufacture political organisation and traditional attires, jembe drums, shields made out of animal skins and decoratives, such as clay pots, calabashes, wooden sculptures and many other handwork.
Anna, the first-born child of James(73) and Lina Ngutshwane (68), is also the winner of Mpumalanga Premier’s Excellenge – a rare prize from the Premier’s office received by individuals who has done absolutely good on behalf of the province.
She is born with 13 other children – but three had died since then, third-born Josifina Matsane died two days after birth in 1972, fifth-born Nomi Matsane died of severe illness at the age of 25 in 2000 and Nodi Matsane also perished in 2004 at the age of 23 after a severe headache in hospital.
This has brought pains into Anna’s life. “It’s a very sad thing when you lose your siblings, espacially in that age. We were really saddened but we accepted it and it passed,” she told the reporter in a three-hour long interview. During this period, customers had been disturbing us when they kept coming into the shop to look for sculptures and other products on the shelves.
The mother of one has been receiving a string of certificates since she registered Nometha Trading Enterprise in 2007.
But prior to that, in 1997, she received her first certificate with Sasol after she completed Small Enterprise Skills courses with the state-owned energy company and another skill development certificate with Osizweni Community Development Centre in March 1999 after she completed a Basket & Mate Making course with the centre.
In November 2010, Anna acquired a certificate with Small Enterprise Business Agency (SEBA)after she attended a three week Craft Development Training programme in Secunda and since then a string of other skill certificates followed, including from Eskom, Department of Trade & Industry, Department of Tourism and other organs of state.
“I have done a lot of training on the ideas of craft product, interpretation of client’s specification of craft product and a lot of marketable craft products,” she told the Magudvu reporter.
In a newsletter published by the Msukaligwa Local Municipality in September 2014 and in an article, titled, “Women Community Builders Honoured”, Anna is seen with other four women and Mayor Sipho Bongwe carrying certificates of appreciations, and she is quoted as saying: “I teach the unemployed men and women skills such as sewing and handwork. I have also employed 20 men and women who I taught the skills. Some have opened their businesses to sell their handworks.”
However, in an article published by the Highveld newspaper on 10 October 2014, Anna is quoted as saying: “Five per cent of my profits goes towards feeding [the homeless] and I’m also involved in a project where I encourage young girls to remain virgins.”
Asked to verify this, Anna told Magudvu site: “I have empowered a lot of men and women. The young boys and girls I organise across the Gert Sibande District and encourage them to stay away from sex because during this time the HIV/AIDS is targeting them and worse of all they are the future of this country. We must save the children to preserve the future of South Africa.”
Anna is on 072 527 8222 and will start her own website soon.