Township awards ambassadors at 30th birthday party
SPORTS stars, a new coffee shop, and even a reality TV contest winner were among 30 people and organisations honoured as ambassadors of Khayelitsha, during the township’s 30th anniversary celebrations last night.
The event began with a prayer for Nelson Mandela lead by the Rev Luyanda Adams.
Plans to create the township were first announced by Dr Piet Koornhof, then co-operation and development minister, in 1983. It was established later that year.
Khayelitsha is the country’s second biggest township, after Soweto. It is home to about 1.5 million people, three-quarters of whom are younger than 35.
Last night’s anniversary event was hosted by the provincial Human Settlements Department and the Khayelitsha Development Forum, a volunteer organisation launched in December 1995 with the aim of boosting development there.
The organisation lobbied successfully for the construction of the Oliver Tambo Sports Complex in Mew Way, where last night’s event was held. The theme was “Celebrating our own”.
Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela announced late yesterday he would not be able to attend as he was travelling to Qunu for Madiba’s funeral.
The complex was decked out in fairy lights, with draping in green and gold. A picture of Nelson Mandela stood on an easel, surrounded by wreaths, while other pictures adorned the walls.
The 30 ambassadors named were split into categories:
For politics and administration, those honoured included former Tyberberg mayor Clifford Sitonga, former Khayelitsha transitional council mayor Vuyani Ngcuka, former Khayelitsha Community Police Forum chairman Khayalethu Magaxa, Higher Education director-general Gwebinkundla Qonde, the adviser to the national minister of human settlements, Qubundile Dyantyi, Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, early settler Mali Hoza, former ANC MPL Ntombozi Macingwana, provincial Cope leader Mbulelo Ncedana, the Khayelitsha Health Forum’s Mzanywa Ndibongo, Khayelitsha Development Forum executive head Bubele Beja, SAPS officer Mkhuseli Kwitshi and the City of Cape Town’s Lungelo Nokhwaza.
For Arts and Culture: TV star Andrea Dondolo; Sibahle Tshibika, who won this year’s So You Think You Can Dance contest and artist Xolile Mtakatya.
“I feel blessed and overwhelmed. I was born here. My life has changed. People recognise me,” she said last night.
For sport: Boxer Mzonke Fana and cyclist Luthando Khakha.
Khakha, a former Cape Argus intern who went on to cycle in Switzerland and Denmark, said he was grateful for the honour.
“My exposure will reflect on Khayelitsha. Every light that shines on me as a cyclist puts the spotlight on Khayelitsha,” he said.
For education: Luhlaza High School was honoured, and for health, private practitioner Dr Manduleli Bikitsha.
In the social sector, Pat Matholengwe, elderly support organisation Agapa and Nocawe Mankay of the Nonceba Family Counselling Project were honoured.
In the youth development category, Vincent Manzini was named, along with Lufefe Nomjama, coffee shop Department of Coffee and taxi association Codeta in the business category.
In the media and communications category, the community recognised journalist Vukile Sonandzi and broadcaster Radio Zibonele.
SOLEMN: A candlelight vigil was held for Nelson Mandela at the Oliver Tambo hall in Khayelitsha last night.