Mvezo community gets meat for Qurbani
THERE were scenes of joy at Mvezo, the mountainous birthplace of Nelson Mandela and the court of the area’s chiefs, when 10 cows were slaughtered as part of the Islamic Eid ul-Adha festival. The festival remembers Abraham’s sacrifice when his son was replaced by a ram.
Called Qurbani, the meat is distributed to the poor. Hundreds from the Mvezo community, a rural district 40km south of Mthatha, queued up for the sacrificial meat under the eye of Inkosi (Chief) Zwelivelile Mandla Mandela.
The cows were donated by the NGO Awqaf South Africa and the Turkish Diyanet Vakfi.
Speaking to tribal elders, guests and community members, Mandela said the Transkei had a precious resource – its land – and massive potential.
There were 3.2 million cows, 6 million sheep and 7 million goats in the region and local farmers needed to be empowered in animal husbandry.
“An ox, for example, is bought for R2000 by a white farmer, fattened for 60 days and then resold for R17000. We need to break this cycle.
“We need to educate our farmers to benefit directly from their own resources,” he said.
Mandela also said aloes, which grew on the hillsides, were an untapped natural resource. Environmentally sustainable methods of harvesting had to be explored.
Mandela also announced that Mthatha would be getting its first mosque, which would be funded by the Turkish government.
On a tour of the Mandela School of Science and Technology, Mandela said education had to be a focus of the country’s neglected rural areas. He said there were still villages without running water.
After the Qurbani, Awqaf announced it would embark on three upliftment programmes: animal husbandry, a study on the viability of harvesting aloes and teacher training.
CHIEF Mandla Mandela told pupils at the Mandela School of Science and Technology that education had to be a focus of the country’s neglected rural areas.