While life can be hard in Nelson Mandela Bay’s Kwazakhele township, there is also plenty of hope thanks to the tireless efforts of those who strive to uplift the local community.
From religious leaders and teachers to informal traders and entrepreneurs, these individuals believe a better life for all is attainable and will do everything in their power to make it happen.
Such commitment to the wellbeing of residents has always resonated with the management and staff of SUPERSPAR Daku.
Whenever a need has arisen, they have rolled up their sleeves to play their part, often partnering with local organisations and Kwazakhele’s Good Samaritans to help others.
Unfortunately, with the sudden arrival of Covid-19 in 2020, many efforts were curtailed or even halted.
It was heart-wrenching for everyone, particularly township youth who through these initiatives can reclaim the dignity too often lost to difficult financial circumstances.
As soon as life returned to normal, however, SUPERSPAR Daku general manager Adriaan Terblanche and his team were back looking for new projects that could make a positive impact in the area.
It was not long before they found them.
Aaron Gqadu Senior Public School and the Assemblies of Christ Church, both shining institutions in the township, have served the community with distinction for years.
Sadly, the school had been in desperate need of a proper library, explained principal Rodney Mtywaru.
“We had been using a classroom as the library and it needed to be renovated badly. It needed to be repainted and there was a hole in the roof,” he said.
“This meant that the children would have to go to another library, but it is far away and it cost money to get there. It was too much for our learners who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Thankfully, an NGO from Cape Town helped us with books and we found the money to redo the entire room.”
With his ear to the ground as usual, Terblanche quickly came on board to provide meals for all those who attended the recent opening of the library.
“It was a great occasion. We invited neighbouring schools and parents to the event and are very grateful to them for providing the meals,” said Mtywaru.
Police sergeant and resident pastor at Assemblies of Christ Church, Monde Nkatu, knows all about the need that exists in Kwazakhele.
In his job and role as a religious leader, he sees it every day.
But he, too, has found an ally in the community’s favourite retailer, which recently donated more than 30 pairs of school shoes and 100 meal packs to the church to distribute to young people.
“I am not someone who asks for money; I stipulate items that I believe can help people in this community. This donation of shoes will make a big difference to these children because so many go to school without a pair,” said Nkatu.
“He (Terblanche) is very friendly and helpful.
“I first wrote a letter to my local councillor for the shoe donation. Then he wrote to the SPAR and they helped with the shoes and meals and cooldrinks for the kids.
“We are very thankful for that.”
Nkatu is now turning his attention to a blanket and clothing drive for disadvantaged residents to help keep them warm in winter.
Terblanche said SUPERSPAR Daku has always been community-driven and after three years of not being able to help it was pleasing that the store could once again give back to the people of Kwazakhele.