Masibambane, which means holding hands, held a summit at Stanleys in Kenton-on-Sea focusing on a number of initiatives and community projects that are community-based.
The objective of the Ndlambe summit was to highlight progress that has already been made by various local initiatives in the fields of agriculture, education, sports, community development and entrepreneurship. With the hopes of encouraging like-minded people to join hands and contribute their skills and resources to existing and future community projects.
The summit had about 30 speakers sharing their successes in the Ndlambe community, including mayor Phindile Faxi.
Martin Fick, who is currently involved in a small farmer initiative in the ostrich industry, related a very sad story about how he was attacked and assaulted in Zimbabwe, and how his lowest point in life turned out to be an eye-opening experience in his life.
“I am fourth generation Zimbabwean; I lived in Zimbabwe for quite some time, where I was constantly under attack and assaulted – and my family. After the assaults incidents I asked God what is my purpose in life. That is when I realised that I need to do something along the lines of helping others. I moved to South Africa taking whatever I could take with me in a bakkie with my family,” Fick said.
“When I arrived here I drove around Peddie in their villages and I made a stop in one of the villages and was immediately inspired to start an ostrich farm. It all started with only 12 farmers, even though there was a lot of negativity surrounding the project, today I am proud to say we have about 240 farmers involved in the project,” he said.
He also added that fixed robust business models were needed, and that when people work towards inspiring others and encouraging them to change the way they see something, there will be beautiful outcomes.
Another speaker who left a powerful impact on the attendees at the Ndlambe Summit was Marian Rousseau, who has a desire to nurture children’s general abilities to promote their self-confidence and support their character development. Teaching reading skills drew her back to teaching, a profession she left a few years ago. In 2013 she took over the reins of Jesus Our Teacher (JOT) reading club which is based at Ikamvalesizwe Combined School in Kenton.
“We are four ladies that have been involved in this project for years now with 80 pupils who are in Grade 4 at Ikamvalesizwe. We encourage pupil to take part in different activities or games that teach them the English language, and it is always a pleasure seeing the enormous excitement this brings to them,” said Rousseau.
Tshilidze “Chilly” Matshidzula, a partner and manager of Matshibele, a company that owns the dairy farm Little Barnet outside Alexandria. From a dilapidated farm with no government assistance, he and his partners, Oakleaf Business Trust, have transformed the farm to milking 720 cows per day. Matshidzula won the Eastern Cape Young Farmer of the Year in 2017 and the Mangold Trophy in 2016.
He spoke at the summit about his projects at the farm and his involvement with youth projects that were spearheaded by him and his partners.
“We run a mentorship programme; we took a decision in 2014 to change an employment policy. Our programme focuses more on youth – this meant investing a lot in training and skills in dairy production for 18 months. We also teach them financial management. The aim is to produce our own future leaders. Our bursary fund is still in implementation phase,” said Matshidzula.
BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU