| PIETERMARITZBURG

Gogos get tent for shelter

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Avbob Funeral Services says it will keep on supporting Grace Mnikathi’s sanctuary for the elderly

Photo of a tent with people
Gogos in Willowfontein and Avbob Funeral Services manager Digby Layzell celebrate the donation of a large tent to help Grace Mnikathi with her initiative for the elderly. Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane
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Grace Mnikathi is overjoyed and says she has no words to express her gratitude to Avbob Funeral Services after the company donated a three-pole tent with chairs and groceries to help her provide a refuge from home for the elderly.

GroundUp reported in May on how Mnikathi was feeding 150 elderly people from her five-roomed mud house in Willowfontein, Pietermaritzburg, without any funding. Mnikathi sells sweets at a local school to get the money to buy food for the elderly.

Avbob area manager Digby Layzell said, “We were touched by Mnikathi’s story.” The company also donated a month’s worth of groceries, beads for beadwork and soup and snacks. Avbob plans to make regular donations as part of the company 100-year celebrations.

Joyce Shandu, 61, said, “We will now do our beadwork inside the tent. If it is hot we will open the sides for some fresh air. This will make our life easy. We now have a shelter … Dreams do come true.”

Myalelwa Myaka said, “We promise that we will look after this tent. Some of us are troubled at home. We come here for peace and happiness. We share our problems and laugh at each other’s problems sometimes. This is where we confide and offload our worries. This home is our sanctuary.”

Layzell said, “It is heartwarming to see Mnikathi’s initiative in helping the community. She feeds them without expecting anything from anyone. That is an amazing community uplifting initiative. We could not ignore such great work. She also keeps them active, which is wonderful. Some of them were lonely but they have found a home here … We cannot help everyone but her story touched us.”

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TOPICS:  Society