Prayers, pol­i­tics, big cheques and a dream

Sunday World - - Shwashwi -

FACT: when the name Nel­son Man­dela is men­tioned, the world sits up and takes no­tice.

That ’ s ex­actly what Sh­washwi did on Tues­day morn­ing, but not in an el­e­gant way. The sit­ting up was courtesy of yours truly be­ing star­tled by the shrill ring of the alarm clock at some witch­ing hour be­cause she had a break­fast to at­tend. Sh­washwi does not do morn­ings. Ever. But the name Nel­son Man­dela was be­ing bandied about, so off we went to the Emoyeni con­fer­ence venue in Park­town, where Gaut­eng Pre­mier Nomvula Mokonyane was host­ing a se­lect group at a break­fast to raise funds for the Nel­son Man­dela Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal.

The MC was the de­lec­ta­ble Andile Khu­malo, in­vest­ment en­tre­pre­neur and no­table tweleb. His pretty face and com­mand­ing stance kept us from suc­cumb­ing to morn­ing yawns.

Spot­ted at a ta­ble in the front was Madiba’s hon­orary grand­daugh­ter Baset­sana Kumalo, for­mer ra­dio per­son­al­ity Thabiso Sik­wane, Pow­erFM ’ s Aza­nia Mosaka and ac­tivist and mo­ti­va­tional speaker Criselda Kananda. The ladies were de­cid­edly less glam in their morn­ing threads as they tweeted away and sipped hot bev­er­ages to chase away the morn­ing win­ter chill.

Thabiso – that ’ s Mrs DJ Fresh to you – had a turn at the podium to talk about why she’s sup­port­ing the ven­ture.

Some of us were a bit taken aback when she asked Nomvula to say a lit­tle prayer. It seems this has be­come a fad, one that some of us are not too keen on as we be­lieve that peo­ple should in­dulge in their re­li­gion and/or spir­i­tu­al­ity in their own time. Ram­ming it down our throats just makes us choke.

But Nomvula obliged and deftly man­aged to fuse re­li­gion and pol­i­tics in her three-minute prayer ses­sion. While we’re on Nomvula, Sh­washwi does not know what the lady’s us­ing but damn! she epit­o­mises the “black don’t crack” adage. Mama Ac­tion was look­ing haute in a deep red suit and pearl ac­ces­sories, and for the first time in a long while re­sem­bled a politi­cian in­stead of a ghetto queen.

Thank heav­ens she fi­nally found a proper hair­styl­ist, be­cause she owns that pixie weave. Love it!

An emo­tional mo­ment came in the form of Anice Kruger, mother of burn vic­tim Pip­pie.

The two were the guests of hon­our, and while Pip­pie was play­ing up for the cam­eras (bless her), Anice had us chok­ing back tears as she re­counted the hor­ror of find­ing a med­i­cal fa­cil­ity that could ac­com­mo­date her tod­dler. It was so mov­ing that Louis Vuit­ton purses were opened and pledges made.

Nomvula got the ball rolling with R10 000, fol­lowed by some in­di­vid­u­als and com­pa­nies. But it was Tim and Pol­let Te­beila who made us gasp when they “bought a bed” for R5-mil­lion, with R1-mil­lion up front in the form of a gi­ant cheque.

Sh­washwi also do­nated some­thing with a one, but fewer ze­ros.

But hey, ev­ery cent counts, right?

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