Tuesday, July 19, 2011

67 min of Love for Mandela Day

Radio 2000 67min of love initiative

The SABC was well represented in Pretoria, Sammy Marks Square to be exact, for the Radio 2000 67min of love on Mandela Day. It started out like any other day except the deep excitement and meaning the day had. It was Madiba’s birthday and being a proud South African meant that I had to make a difference in someone’s life all in the name of the years that Mandela toiled for his country.

As we entered warm and sunny Pretoria we were met by excited Radio 2000 fans and lovers of the Sammy Marks shopping centre. There was a general buzz of excitement at the day’s festivities. Loud music, happy faces and warm hearts were spread all round. We were spoiled with live performances by MXO, Tina, The Repertoires and many more of our local talent. It surely was great to hear all the birthday wishes and singing from all present. During all this fun and excitement the real work began.

When I received the invite through my emails I immediately thought that ‘how can I not be a part of this initiative?’ I really have to go there and give out clothes and assist with the distribution of food packs to the less fortunate. It made sense for me to do this especially because I am in the Outreach department. This is what Outreach is about (well almost).
My colleagues and I set out to look for the less fortunate as we felt that at the Square there were too many students and not enough “needy” people, as per instruction by our Radio 2000 instructor. Walking the streets of Pretoria in search of the less fortunate was quite an eye-opening experience. We had to walk almost 4 blocks in search of them and we found a particular street where they “reside”. It is even known around the area that, Brown Street is where they can be found at any time. It is a dingy street with a pungent smell of urine and washed up hope. There you will find children from the ages of 12 to young adults who have learnt to fend for themselves. We encountered quite a lot of them who have trust issues for very obvious reasons, they have been used and abused, their labour has been exploited and they are at a point where they simply do not believe in “good faith” or people doing them a favour.
My heart sank when one of them upon the offer of a meal, plainly refused and sought comfort from his trusted solace of glue hidden under his clothes and his armpit. The reality of how he lives was saddening. The amount of pride and how they have learnt to fend for themselves is amazing. He would rather get high off his glue than accept a free meal which definitely wont be there tomorrow.

All in all a day well spent as it made me appreciate my warm bed, hot shower after what I presumed to be a ‘long and arduous day’ and the warm meal I had at McDonalds with friends.
There is more to the 67min of love but of course it all starts somewhere. I am really proud that I played a part of the initiative and wish that it could happen more often.


Boitumelo Choabi

Outreach and New Media Intern


Mmakobedi Choabi said...

weldone to you my dear I will have 67minutes to share my day with someone less fortunate then myself I will take the person out for lunch and buy him/her a present on the day. That is going to be my contribution on the on intended "special day"

Salute Tata mwah

SABC Education Blog said...

Hi Mmakobedi. Thanks for your kind words. Every little bit helps.
Tata would surely appreciate the kind gesture.