In Spite of it all, Siyaqhuba in the JTG District

‘If we had to use a single word to describe the past year in books, it might be eclectic.’ Thus begins a recent New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2018 article by Dwight Garner, Parul Sehgal and Jennifer Szalai. If I had to use a single word to describe the past five months, it would definitely be promising. Our fine district of John Taolo Gaetsewe, or JTG District to the locals, saw the birth of an ambitious yet pragmatic child – Tswelelopele Foundation. Responding to the pressing matters and depressing challenges faced by this beautiful community situated in the northside of arguably the wealthiest province in South Africa – Northern Cape – a group of young people took it upon themselves to place the problems, hopes and dreams of the people of JTG District on their little shoulders. While this tottering child – the pride of JTG District – is faced with challenges of its own – challenges that restricts its overall effectiveness and impact – Tswelelopele Foundation has not sat back, or folded its arms and said, ‘Due to limited resources we are going to sit down.’

Established on the solid foundation of being the vehicle responsible for the advancement and development of the community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District through graduates, especially unemployed graduates, the board of Tswelelopele Foundation has in the past five months managed to place two of its graduates from Biggie’s Cave – the foundation’s official name for its database – in a place of employ, piloted an Oral and Written Skills Presentation survey, dispatched a group of graduates with various academic backgrounds to perform a General and Infrastructure Assessment at one of the local hospitals and recently assigned one of its Civil Engineering graduates to design emergency exit plans at the same hospital. The work is not complete, for there are a lot of improvements to be done, but what is pleasing is that work is underway. Finally, our community through the seeds – its graduates – they planted a long time ago will begin to harvest. Bagaetsho, the year 2019 promises to be an eventful and phenomenal year.

Ladies and gentlemen, bana le bagolo, indeed at Tswelelopele Foundation, siyaqhuba – re a tswelela. Capturing the yearnings and wishes of the people of this fine district – home of Morula Avenue – the motto of Tswelelopele Foundation simply says, ‘Advancing the hopes and dreams of our Community’. As I already stated above, due to limited resources, the board of Tswelelopele Foundation has not been able to execute to the best of its ability its aims and objectives, particularly assisting graduates find employment, but we dare not waver in the face of adversity.

Bagarona, the year 2018, like all those many years before it, is sadly drawing to a close. What was once the future, and subsequently the present, is speedily morphing into the past, forever confining those which were beautiful and ugly moments into the palace of memory. Despite what may now seem as rapid changes beyond our control, may we not allow ours to become ‘a struggle of memory against forgetting’. Let us forever cherish the year 2018, especially the date of Friday, 27th July, when Tswelelopele Foundation burst out like a germinating seed to carry forth the hopes and dreams of our community. May we never forget.

In one of its biggest, if not ambitious programmes planned for the year 2019, in accordance with its mission of building and developing the JTG District through its graduates, Tswelelopele Foundation plans to launch the Clean-Up JTG District Campaign. The aim of the campaign is to pilot a sustainable and permanent plan that will ensure the district remains clean at all times and that the environment is preserved. Through its Department of Environmental Management & Tourism, Tswelelopele Foundation and its various strategic partners, intend to promote cleanliness, environmental preservation and hygiene to position the district as one of the premier tourist destinations in the Northern Cape province, if not the globe. This initiative proposed by the board of Tswelelopele Foundation will ensure that the unemployment rate in this part of the country becomes a thing of the past as new markets emerge.

Rome was not built in one day; so goes the old saying. But mostly importantly Motsogapele observed thus ages ago: ‘Matsogo dinku a thebana.’ Bagaetsho, once again, as always, we plead for your unwavering support and assistance in ensuring that Tswelelopele Foundation is successful in all its endeavours, especially in the near future.

Batho bame, in closing, allow me on behalf of the board, to extend a deep appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to each and everyone of you for your assistance, backing, encouragement and support throughout these past five months. Each of you has been a blessing, and as I pledged above, I hope that you continue to stand by this little baby from here until eternity. May you and your families have a joyous and merry Christmas, and may the New Year bring you prosperity, good health and happiness. To those whose year was bleak, and sadly their festive season, no matter what, the sun will always shine the next day. May you all be blessed.


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