By JOSIE MAKKINK
The kitchen: eThembeni Community Kitchen
The chef: Limise Gagayi
“It was a surprise, even for us, to see that we can do things. What we are doing is actually working. It is actually changing lives.”
These are the words of Limise Gagayi, who, with the help of her husband, is making a difference within the eThembeni community.
Gagayi, originally from Gqeberha, responded to the need she saw in Makhanda with action.
She says, “We cannot just fold arms and wait for someone, or for government, to give it to us. We have just got to stand up and wake up and do something for ourselves.”
Gagayi began running a soup kitchen to ease the hunger brought on by the pandemic, which has since inspired the startup of 30 other soup kitchens. She also organises events, such as Women’s Day and Youth Day functions, which create awareness concerning pertinent issues in the community.
An enormously resourceful and proactive woman, Gagayi also manages the donation of toys and clothes, which she distributes to children and the elderly.
Gagayi is committed to empowering community members by creating opportunities to learn new skills, including gardening and handiwork, and she helps students apply for bursaries.
Gagayi’s work is dependent on donations from Makhanda residents. Her project is not a registered business, making it difficult for her to get assistance from large stores like Pick n Pay and Checkers.
How you can help:
More and more residents are getting involved to keep the project alive and moving. If you would like to be one of them, contact Gagayi on 073 242 3310.