By Anga-Anganda Bushwana
Noziphiwo Lynette Roji, better known as Mamu Roji to Joza community members, has started a soup kitchen at 91B Joza Street, feeding the less fortunate. ANC member Roji, also a [former*(1)] committee member from Ward Two, said she could not sit back and do nothing about the dire situation of poverty she witnesses daily in the township.
“I asked ANC Councillor Ramie Xonxa if we could start this initiative because I am witnessing so much poverty around me. I said to him, how about every Wednesday we cater as much as we can to community members?” says Roji.
She and Xonxa then approached Spar and Checkers in Makhanda for help. Checkers gave her a cheque worth R1000. “The manager at Spar said when the [cooked*(2)] food that is being sold gets left over overnight, we can keep the vegetables and use that to make soup,” said Roji. It is these very vegetables from Spar that they are now utilising to make their food. However, these are not always enough, and Roji says they have to dig into their own pockets to buy more vegetables to feed those who have not yet received food.
When Grocott’s Mail visited the food kitchen, we witnessed many residents coming for lunch. Roji says poverty and hunger levels are getting worse and worse in Makhanda.
“More and more people are coming to the soup kitchen. Mothers are walking long distances with their children. Sometimes the food is not enough for everyone, and we need to send them back home without receiving anything,” said Roji. She added that some people take the food home to eat with their children or other family members. That shows the level of poverty in Makhanda – that several people need to share one meal.
Mamu Roji is pleading with the community of Makhanda and organisations in the town to assist wherever they can. Please contact Grocott’s Mail if you want to support Mamu Roji, and we will put you in touch.
* (1)The initial article stated that Noziphiwo Lynette Roji is a Ward 2 Committee member. However, we have corrected it to state that she is a former member.
*(2) The vegetables used to cook the soup are already cooked when they arrive at the soup kitchen