Church leader helps trans­form vil­lage

Pas­tor Kolobe Kgongoana gives men lead­er­ship skills

African Times - - News - ISAAC RAMOTHWALA

THE build­ing at Mak­i­belo vil­lage out­side Seshego in Polok­wane, Lim­popo, may be mis­taken for any other dis­placed struc­tures that char­ac­terise the land­scape of ru­ral ar­eas.

It is only when one ap­proaches the build­ing that the eyes open to a church which its lead­er­ship has taken a con­scious de­ci­sion to also equip mem­bers of the com­mu­nity with knowl­edge to be able to face the world. The sight of youth spend­ing most of their time at she­beens, and see­ing other men with po­ten­tial just loi­ter­ing was too much for Pas­tor Kolobe Kgongoana of Mak­i­belo In­ter­na­tional As­sem­blies of God.

He ap­proached lo­cal tra­di­tional lead­ers and other struc­tures in the area on how the sit­u­a­tion could be turned around. It’s then that he ini­ti­ated the Com­mu­nity Lead­er­ship Train­ing Pro­gramme.

The first work­shop was held on Satur­day and the main ob­jec­tive was to equip both young and old men with lead­er­ship skills, so they can ap­ply what they learnt at their fam­i­lies, churches and com­mu­nity struc­tures which re­quire lead­er­ship prow­ess.

Pas­tors of churches from neigh­bour­ing vil­lages were also at­tended to re­ceive such train­ing.

Kgongoana said he felt obliged to ini­ti­ate the pro­gramme to­gether with other com­mu­nity lead­ers af­ter ob­serv­ing how some peo­ple with po­ten­tial lead­er­ship skills were car­ry­ing them­selves in the com­mu­nity.

He saw the need to launch it at Mak­i­belo vil­lage af­ter a thor­ough anal­y­sis of the com­mu­nity: “I would see young men of this vil­lage in she­beens and I also meet most of them on the road in the early hours on week­ends es­pe­cially on Sun­days car­ry­ing al­co­hol bev­er­ages.

“This be­came the cause of con­cern to me and that was when I ap­proached one of the tra­di­tional lead­ers to as­sist in in­form­ing the en­tire com­mu­nity to come and re­ceive the teach­ings on lead­er­ship. He wel­comed the idea and ex­pressed that he is also con­cerned by the state-of-af­fairs in the com­mu­nity. I also saw the need to in­vite mem­bers of the church to be part of the event.”

Kgongoana, who has been at the helm of the church for a pe­riod of 10 years to date, said he re­alised that for one to be­come a pas­tor, one needs to also be part of the com­mu­nity. Be­ing part of the com­mu­nity, a pas­tor will then be con­cerned when some mem­bers of the com­mu­nity head in the wrong di­rec­tion.

He said that one of the aims of the train­ing pro­gramme was to pro­duce re­spon­si­ble and cred­i­ble lead­ers of the com­mu­nity - be it at school, at work or struc­tures es­tab­lished in the com­mu­nity.

The train­ing pro­gramme is yet another project ini­ti­ated at the vil­lage. A li­brary also stands at the vicin­ity of the church.

“It is the love I have for this com­mu­nity that forced me to open a li­brary within the church. The jour­ney was not smooth in es­tab­lish­ing it be­cause we needed books that would be use­ful to the chil­dren of this com­mu­nity. The li­brary was spon­sored two white pen­sion­ers from Springs in Gaut­eng af­ter hear­ing about our in­ten­tion to es­tab­lish this li­brary. They in­formed other peo­ple who were will­ing to do­nate books. They told us to come and col­lect them,” he said.

He said for­mer pres­i­dent of the Aza­nian Peo­ple’s Or­gan­i­sa­tion (AZAPO), Dr Mosi­budi Man­gena, also do­nated books af­ter he was in­formed about the li­brary. He said renowned jour­nal­ist who is cur­rently part of the SABC Board, Mathatha Tsedu, also made a do­na­tion to­wards pro­cure­ment of books for the li­brary.

Turn­ing again to the train­ing pro­gramme, Kgongoana said dur­ing one of the church lead­ers’ con­fer­ences he at­tended, he met Pas­tor Lu­cas Shipalana who is also a mo­ti­va­tional speaker. It was then that he in­vited him to con­duct the train­ing pro­gramme at Mak­i­belo.

The lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil­lor Tlou Moeti said she was im­pressed by the ini­tia­tive of Kgongoana. She said she learnt a lot as one of the lead­ers of the com­mu­nity and was in­spired by the work­shop.

“I will in­form most of the peo­ple I work with in the coun­cil, so they can at­tend. I prom­ise to mo­bilise the com­mu­nity and en­sure that the hall is full to its ca­pac­ity,” she said.

One mem­ber of the com­mu­nity, Jo­hannes Boshomane, said that things will never be the same for him af­ter at­tend­ing the work­shop. He made a pledge be­fore ev­ery­one that was present at the train­ing work­shop that he was go­ing to ap­ply what he learnt in his fam­ily.

Pictures: Le­bo­gang Mak­wela / Vis­ual Buzz SA

BE­LOW: The li­brary within the church was opened by Pas­tor Kolobe Kgongoana.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers of Mak­i­belo vil­lage at­tend­ing the Com­mu­nity Lead­er­ship Train­ing Pro­gramme.

Mo­ti­va­tional speaker at the event Pas­tor Lu­cas Shipalana (left) with Pas­tor Kolobe Kgongoana.

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