News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Thursday May 24th 2018

Somalis give food to the poor in Du Noon

Women in Du Noon were delighted to receive food parcels from Somali shop owners who contributed to the community as part of Women's Month. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

Women in Du Noon were delighted to receive food parcels from Somali shop owners who contributed to the community as part of Women's Month. Photo: Peter Luhanga/WCN

25.08.2013

Despite being targeted by criminals, Somali shop owners in Du Noon – which was the first township in the Cape to emulate the 2008 xenophobic attacks – this weekend donated almost R10 000 worth of food parcels to less fortunate residents.

The handout of food parcels to 50 women on Saturday was the Du Noon Somali community’s contribution to Women’s Month celebrations, said Ward Councillor Lubabalo Makeleni.

“Somali’s know that by contributing to women the whole family benefits, as women take care of the whole nation. We wish all communities in South Africa can open their hearts to foreign nationals and make peace with themselves, welcome foreign nationals and embrace their businesses and work together. And we wish all foreign nationals borrow a leaf from the Somalis in Du Noon (sic),” said Makeleni.

Each food parcel contained maize, flour, rice, cooking oil, tinned fish and beans, sugar, salt, tea and biscuits which amounted to R190.50 per parcel, said Somali businessman Ismail Jawiil.

Leader of the Association of Somali Spaza Shop Owners in Du Noon, Mohamed Mussa, said they had just begun contributing to the community.

“We want emphasize that this small thing (the food parcels) are from our heart. It’s a little thing but shows how we are passionate about the community,” he said.

Mussa called on other foreign nationals to follow their example by contributing to less fortunate locals in the townships.

SANCO Du Noon branch representative Messie Makuwa Mpukane said residents were “shocked” by the Somali’s community contribution to the community.

“They have shown that they are part of us, they are our own sons,” said Mpukane, who urged residents to protect Somalis from criminal elements in the township.

Beneficiaries to the food handouts ululated, danced and cried with joy when they received the food parcels.

Pensioner Faith Mayekiso, 61, who supports a dozen children – five of which are of her own – said she received the state’s pension grant but it was not sufficient to support her family.

The food parcel made her feel happy, she said, as there was “nothing at the house”.

She said she has always welcomed and accepted Somalis in the township and her love for them was not because of the food handouts.

“People are people, we are the same despite where you come from,” she said.

Another food parcel beneficiary Grace Ngcebetsha, 48, a mother of four adult children, said she was going to cook a healthy meal for the first time in a long time. — Peter Luhanga

 

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