Cancer awareness campaign held in Cosmo City

“When it comes to cancer, most people lack knowledge and hope,” said Gamalethu Nomvula Ngongoma the finalist of MrsCommon Wealth South Africa during the cancer awareness campaign held at Liberty Church in Cosmo City on 18 May.

“The black community always assumes cancer is a western disease, which can only affect white people” she said. “There is a lack of knowledge. Those who are affected, feel stigmatized, and they lose hope. Cancer victims should not be given discouraging news, but should be loved and motivated because it is a curable disease.”

Community members attended the event alongside various NGOs working to give hope and support to cancer victims. The NGOs included Pink Drive, Gladiators of Hope, Cancervive and Sedumedi Hope Foundation. 

Ngongoma, who organised the event, added that it is not a bad thing for people to use other means of medication to cure cancer. “The majority of the people fear to do chemo therapy,” she said. “They think it will  harm  their bodies. That is lack of knowledge, and our aim is to bring proper knowledge to the community.”

Whether you have had cancer before or not, Ngongoma said you can play part in fighting against cancer. 

Also attending the event was Dr Blessing Sikhanda, a gynecologist.  Hewho said he has a special interest in fighting cancer. Doctors should go an extra mile and play a pastoral role, he said, showing love and support when they work with people affected by the cancer health challenge.

Inspirational speaker, entrepreneur, and author Tumi Leeuw-Mosiane gave a motivational speech. He said the tongue is powerful in directing our future and he challenged people to embrace whatever rial they face – whether in health, finances or emotional balance -with boldness and to grow from the struggle to overcome their problems.

Car crashes into a residential house

A white C320 Mercedes Benz crashed into an extended RDP residence in ext. 2 late Saturday night on May 18 leaving its residents shocked and homeless

The driver apparently lost control of his steering wheel, turned suddenly between Tanzania and Namibia Roads, and broke the residence fence. The vehicle crushed the two side walls of the home into rubble. Neighbours and bystanders wondered if anyone was hurt, but fortunately all the residents were in the sitting room and no one was in the room that was destroyed.

The driver of the vehicle and his three lady passengers fled the scene before police arrived.

"It’s quite terrifying how life is,” said a passer-by, Yassin “A minute ago I was crossing the road attending to my own matters. Then when I came back through the same route, I see a massive crowed rushing towards the scene. It got me curious." “Once I reached at the scene the only thing I couldn’t figure out was why someone would crash through a residential area and flee the scene without giving any conscious thoughts to the people inside the residence," he said.

Local residents appeared too shocked and terrified to comment.

Disadvantaged mothers remembered on Mother’s Day

“Mothers have the ability to raise a nation,” said Mrs. Tammy Taylor South Africa semi-finalist Nteseng Chuene on 12 May at the informal settlement of Malatje in Lanseria. South Africa celebrates this powerful influence of mothers each year on Mother’s Day. “But most of the mothers in Malatje have no idea of Mother’s Day,” she said.

Chuene partnered with Ngizweni Initiative Program to celebrate Mother’s Day with the informal settlement women to encourage them to love their children and continue raising them well.

“We wanted to show mothers that they have the ability to raise a nation,” Chuene said, “and give us all a brighter future.”

Chuene said that the Malatje women who understood the meaning of Mother’s Day had never celebrated it before due to their poverty.

It is important to show love to all mothers whether or not the mother is your biological parent, Chuene said.

“I grew up in a community where we were not just raised by our parents but by the community at large,” Chuene said. “We were taught to respect, show love to and treat every elder person in the street with ubuntu. Older people had the right to correct you and if you rebelled, they would report you to your parents.”

Malatje residents said they were happy to be included in the celebrations.

“The mothers who came were so touched by the generosity and we are very thankful for the successful event,” said Lerato.

She added that women were inspired to realise that it is possible to achieve anything in life, no matter where you come from.

“We have realised that we as mothers we should appreciate our children, listen to them and encourage them to do well in life” she said. “The roses we received on May 12 mean a lot to us because we cannot afford them.”

A push against sexual abuse

“We heard that one father was sleeping with his own biological teenage daughter, and he also tried to forcibly sleep with the second daughter,” said Samantha Moloi the founder of Renewed Minds, a Non-Profit Organization dealing with sexual abuse issues, speaking of unreported sexual crimes in the community. 

When the family discovered that the father was sexually abusive, Moloi said, they decided to keep it as a family secret.

“Keeping a secret of a sexual crime is not a good thing,” she said. “If you do not report the sexual crime perpetrators, you are putting the victims in danger. There are many sexual victims with unreported cases out there, and our aim is to assist them.”

Renewed Minds goes to Cosmo City’s primary and high school students creating awareness about what sexual abuse is and how to deal with it, Moloi said.

“It is not always easy to go straight to the young children and talk about sexual abuse,” she said. “Normally we start by talking about bullying until they open up, then we discuss rape issues. We do not just talk to them, but we also encourage and motivate them to report such cases.”

Moloi said that through her organisation she wants to change the way sexual abuse victims think. People perpetuate the culture of sexual abuse by not talking to learners, she said.

“I want to strip the shame away from the victims,” Moloi said, “so that they can start speaking about it. Whether people like it or not, we are going to talk about it because it destroys our society.”

Blue Eagle High principal Patricia Ndlala said Renewed Minds is providing a service that can help school children and the community at large.

“They educated children about consent,” said Ndlala. “Sometimes, when teenage girls are in a relationship they feel their boyfriends are entitled to sleep with them. There are certain things that students cannot confide to their teachers, so we really appreciate Renewed Minds for reaching out to our school.”

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