Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
Matlosana(Klerksdorp): One of the most anticipated events in the city took place this past Saturday the 8th of July at the Rio Casino Hotel and Convention Resort. The Annual Thabo Pelesane Foundation Charity Gallar Dinner which has come to be known as The Klerksdorp July because of it’s sophisticated and fashionable dress up style.
The City’s business, academics, professionals, public servants, political leaders, members of the public, family and friends to the man Thabo Pelesane himself have been gathering for past 6 years in an effort to assist the less fortunate and needy in the community of Matlosana.
The glittering night that was under the stewardship of TP Foundation team and The programme directorship of Mr Daddy Khuselo who recently launched his book called “The Rivonia Junction” at the same venue. Khuselo kept the philanthropists entertainment through out the event with jokes and inspirational quotes. He urged people to be true to the cause of the night. ” Some people made empty promises during last year’s event, because of their ego they saw an opportunity to grab the mic and pledge only for them not to fulfill what they promised” said Khuselo.
With a powerful opening prayer from Pastor Lebogang Abrams, the night went as planned. Sibongile Tshabalala a member of the foundation welcomed the guests and asked questions of “Who’s fault is it that there are hungry people out there”. . . .”Why are there unclothed children in our community”. . . . .”Why is it that people are not given the opportunity to get an education they deserve”
Malaika’s Tshedi Mholo also graced the gathering. The singer is not only a musician, she is also a humanitarian at heart. When she took to the podium, the DJ played “Destiny” a song from Malaika’s debut studio album which was a national hit in 2005, she sang to the song and the gallar dinner turned into a music concert. The songstress who was evidently emotional said “We have to pray for the reunion of Malaika and make Matlosana proud again”.
The philanthropic singer is passionately involved in many social responsibility initiatives and is inspired by her love for children. She has been an ambassador of “UNICEF” for 10 years in which they develop young boys and girls to have skills, thinking abilities and communication. The Smile Foundation has also made her their ambassador, this foundation helps children with any facial conditions, to receive life-changing reconstructive surgery at private hospitals for free with the assistance of funders. A teacher by profession Mholo has always had a burning desire to development kids “she said parents should stop hiding their kids who need special care because so much is happening in the country which can be beneficial to both parents and children.
She confides in Mrs Yvonne Chaka Chaka who is her mentor, The legendary singer who won a BET Award for her humanitarian work, couldn’t be at the gallar dinner but had a massage delivered by Tshedi to the TP Foundation and said “Once you start, you don’t stop”. A moment of silence was observed for all the young women, mothers and grandmothers who have been killed, abused and buried with their body parts missing this year.
Thabo Pelesane’s daughter made a moving speech about the recent femicide outbreak in the country and thanked her father for being such a good dad to her and said every child needs a hero. Thabo Pelesane ascended to the stage with a standing ovation and began by thanking everyone who came from Johannesburg, Randfontien, Vryburg, Makwassie and Ventersdorp. The humanitarian, DJ, father, public servant and community activist gave a brief story of how the foundation was established and how the Foundation’s team came together, with previous events held at clubs, fast forward to 2017 The Rio Casino Convention Centre is the annual venue for the gallar dinner which is given for free with a discount on meals by the casino’s management. “Though Pelesane admits that not all people you mingle with and call friends support your ambition, nothing has stopped him to fulfill his mission which he says is a calling by god to assist his community” As a human being there’s always something that gives you a sleepless night, because you see a homeless child, an abused grandmother and this does give you a purpose in life said Pelesane”. A rendition of pictures of what the foundation has done in the previous year was played, this includes donating toys at Klerksdorp Hospital, The donation of sanitary pads in schools, The TB Awareness Campaign fun walk, The collection of stationery for students and The building of a house for a family in Jouberton Ext 19 which Thabo says it’s the highlight of his life. The foundation also helped two males to Spain for successful kidney transplants this year in June.
Speaker after speaker reiterated the same sentiments of lending a helping hand to the foundation, Executive Mayor Maitu Kgaile acknowledged the beautiful crowd and said the event is symbolic because it is held in the birth month of the late President Nelson Mandela and the celebration of International Nelson Mandela Day, to add to this, 2017 is the year of O. R Tambo as he would be turning a 100 years old this year.
The mayor said her office will continue to support the TP Foundation and her wish is that all councillors and office bearers in council will lend a helping hand too, She urged people to pledge a monthly fee to the TP Foundation.
The management of Rio Casino also gave a massage of support and gave details of their part as a player in the corporate social responsibility for the community of Matlosana, they have donated computers in Jouberton, and have opened a car wash at the casino, a vegetable tunnel and a gold card which are all part of enterprise development for local entrepreneurs.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation was represented by It’s Ceo Mr Sello Hatang who echoed in the same words as the speakers before him about making a difference in the lives of others, Mr Hatang said it is scary that the country is breeding a generation of young people who have nothing to live for, in retrospect to that he shared a story of his family’s background of poverty and referred to the violent protests that erupt around the country everyday “Our people are humiliated by poverty, that’s why they are not able to listen when they are angry, therefore we need to act against poverty, he said” apparently 25% of the population goes to sleep hungry every day.
The night ended with a pledging process of getting funds in order to run the initiatives and operations of the foundation and organizations, friends, members of the public, businessmen and women who were there rose to the occasion. funds, books, sanitary pads, services, clothes, gardening, landscaping and construction of a house for a needy family, matric farewell outfits. a cow and a sheep were also pledged.
Tshedi promised to have talks with all organizations she’s involved in to endorse The Thabo Pelesane Foundation. Mayor Maitu Kgaile pledged an operational office for the foundation, Mr Kgotso Mmadi of The Wesvaal Chamber of business promised to provide transportation for preparations of events of the foundation, Mr Daddy Khuselo pledged a monthly fee of R5000 and a donation of 50 books to the foundation.
Mr Kodisang turned the Gallar dinner into a comedy show yet touching on important issues in society.
Local singer Romeo Mahomed entertained the crowd with his melodic voice rendered a music item by performing Labi Siffre’s classic song “Something inside so strong” to an appreciating crowd.