Posted by Bronwen Wetton | 2 May 2012
My name is Thobekile Mbanda I come from a place called Inchanga in Kwa Zulu Natal close to the valley of the Thousand Hills. I was raised by my grandparents Dhlokwakhe Mbanda who was a teacher and community builder (the pillar for people’s needs)and Valentine Dhlamini a nurse and also a community builder(working with woman in creative hand work a Nomphilo(life giver)for people with AIDS and very active in the church).So I grew up in the environment of care givers selfless lifestyle and we always had to cook in big pots because there was a constant flow of people which my gran made it a point they need to be fed.
So being exposed to that kind of life every community I live in I embrace as though as it was my own, which was what happened in Phillipi through my interactions with the people I got to learn what were there needs and desire and amongst the women I learned they needed some independence and a sustainable place for their children and that’s when Red Gold and Green Educare was born when I started the whole idea I was also greatly affected by the amount of young children not cared for roaming the streets aimlessly and all I wanted was to gather them all and give them love that they so need and also to take them to see places they haven’t yet seen.
I personally am not a teacher but every time I’m at the crèche and meeting kids who don’t go to RGG they always running up to me and giving me hugs and they call me teacher they warm my heart in the most.When I started the crèche I there were 15 women and now only for and through the years (3) I have realised the amount of attitude change the realisation that anything is possible and when TCD started helping us and build us a beautiful Wendy house the community the teachers and the children have come to embrace the beauty and pride the crèche has restored in the community, they have something that belongs to them something that they have worked towards, because amongst the shacks and all the mishaps of the area they have something that resembles beauty and hope for a better beautiful future.Sense of pride and ownership and to have such a beautiful structure and makes the surrounding homes want to be beautiful too cleanliness etc and that for me is pure success, for beauty is in the eyes of the be holder.
I now run my own restaurant in Observatory and the money that I make here a certain percentage goes towards the crèche so as to continue in our growth so at to maintain our mission:
Red Gold & Green embraces the different people who contribute towards this little nation in the making, called RED GOLD & GREEN We welcome the unity and humbleness created by the vibrancy of colors Red, Gold and Green and languages represented by RGG our school.
Better is the one that gives then the receiver.