WCCO Food Bank will make it another year

The Wits Citizenship and Community Outreach programme (WCCO) has managed to secure Tiger Brands as its official sponsor for the food bank for 2017, meaning the food bank lives for another year.

The WCCO food bank project is an initiative to give needy students food parcels that can sustain them throughout the month. The sponsorship was secured through a joint effort between the SRC and WCCO. The parcels contain staple foods such as oats, samp, rice, morvite and peanut butter.

“We got our first delivery on January 17 and we have had our second deal already. It’s a lot of food every month and our offices are full but they go out very quickly,” said WCCO senior programme advisor Kuruna Singh.

The sponsorship is structured to last for a year through monthly deliveries of a fixed portion of groceries.

The food parcel is available to any needy students. All such students are welcome to collect the parcels at the WCCO offices underneath the Matrix.

STAYING ALIVE: The tiger brand sponsorship has secured yet another year of stability for those who rely on the WCCO. Photo: Nozipho Mpanza

STAYING ALIVE: The tiger brand sponsorship has secured yet another year of stability for those who rely on the WCCO.
Photo: Nozipho Mpanza

Any student who requires a pack is expected to produce a student card which will be swiped upon collection for tracking purposes. The groceries are expected to last for a month.

The WCCO will soon launch Masidleni, a daily meal project where they will provide fresh meals for students on a daily basis. However, this project will follow a selection process because the WCCO is responsible to pay for it. Students will qualify based on a list of criteria including household income and the applicant’s position in the family, much like NSFAS.

“What we have planned and budgeted for is 600 students, 300 here [main campus] and 300 on Education Campus, so we’ve got quite a few applications,” said Singh.

Although a food sponsorship has been secured through Tiger Brands, members of the Wits community are encouraged to continue with donations. The WCCO is in need of toiletries and other essential non-food items. “We need to work together,” said 2nd year BA student and WCCO volunteer Charlton Tshili.

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Wits Vuvuzela, WCCO breaking down the perceptions of volunteerism, May 6, 2014

Q&A with Lwazilubanzi Mthembu

Lwazilubanzi Mthembu is an actress, singer and poet best known as Sihle on the SABC1 sitcom, Thandeka’s Diary. She graduated with a BA in Performing Arts from Wits and heads the Live Music division at Word N Sound Live Literature Company. She has appeared in television shows Intersextions, Zabalaza and eKasi and also founded a creative solutions company, The Makers Lab. 


TALENT AND HEART: Lwazilubanzi Mthembu is an entertainment force who is ready to use her talent for social justice. Photo: Provided


Professor Angela Davis hails Pretoria High School’s Zulaikha Patel

Professor Angela Davis has applauded 13-year-old Pretoria High School for Girls student Zulaikha Patel for shining the light equally on her peers as the media has shone it on her.

At the 17th annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture hosted at Unisa, Pretoria, on Friday, September 9, Patel was summoned to the stage to honour Davis with a portrait, in a symbolic gesture of passing the torch from one generation to the next. Patel, however, refused to come alone and called upon her sisters to share the glory. This left Davis “impressed”.

Davis, an African American political activist and struggle veteran, gave the keynote address at this year’s lecture. She was introduced as “a person who graduated from the university of life, in the faculty of hard knocks”, by the master of ceremonies, Professor Somadoda Fikeni.

The crowd stood and applauded while Patel took the first steps towards the stage, then turned back to invite her fellow Pretoria Girls students to join her on the stage.

PASSING THE BATON: The students from Pretoria Girl's high commemorate Prof Davis with a self portrait at the 17th annual Steve Biko Memorial lecture

PASSING THE BATON: Students from Pretoria Girl’s High honour Prof Davis with a portrait at the 17th annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture.

“I would be nothing without the organisations I stood with during those times,” said Davis in a media briefing after her address.

Davis emphasised the importance of organisations in political activism and the danger of lording individuals in collective struggles. She said movements required the strength of many contributors and Patel’s recognition of that truth was an “important” one.

The auditorium was coloured by chants, claps and songs of affirmation as Davis delivered her address where she spoke about the legacy of Steve Biko, her own experiences of political activism and on contemporary struggles for justice under the topic “legacies and unfinished activism”.

“The revolution we wanted was not the revolution we helped produce,” said Davis, speaking about the institutional and structural inequalities that continue to exist for black people across the world.

Throughout her address, Davis highlighted that the revolution was changing and the role of veterans and historical heroes and heroines increasingly becoming advisory rather than active.

“Veterans often take themselves and their knowledge too seriously,” said Davis; urging past leaders to allow young activists to create their own paths and to “learn from their mistakes”.

During her short visit to South Africa, Davis has met with various activists including Wits SRC President Nompendulo Mkhatshwa and former president Shaeera Kalla.

“I would not have been able to imagine then that two decades after the defeat of apartheid, we would be confronted with militaristic responses to people’s protests,” said Davis to applause.


Video: Prof Angela Davis responds to a question from the media on how today’s political activists can respectfully challenge veterans given that they are now in the leadership of the new dispensation.

Also in attendance were former first ladies Graca Machel and Zanele Mbeki whom Davis recognised, regarding their presence an “honour” to her.

Crowds mingled after the lecture and reflective conversations could be heard throughout the halls. A media frenzy ensued as attendees swarmed to take pictures with Patel and to congratulate her for her courage. One was heard saying “Ngifuna is’thombe nalo mntwana”, meaning, “I want to take a picture with this child”, as he stood among the crowd waiting to greet Patel just outside the entrance to the lecture theatre.


Wits Vuvuzela, An open letter in support #PretoriaGirlsHigh from its Old Girls, August 30, 2016

Wits Vuvuzela, Pretoria High School for Girls alumni pledge their support, August 30, 2016