Weekend news wrap up with Bob Mabena – 25 July 2016
I had to do a double take as I was clearing my study on Friday night. There it was, in black and white – a story in last week’s business section of the Sunday Times. It was like another installment of Michael J Fox’s “Back To The Future”. The headline read, “Sowing seeds of hole for unbankable rural women”. This is an article that talks about how former First Lady Zanele Mbeki started a microfinance programme back in 1991 as soon as she came back to Mzansi from exile. Inspired by Prof Muhammad Yunus’ approach to empowering the poor in his own country, the former First Lady and her associates kicked off a Women’s Development Business, with a mere R20 000 donation. They began their first initiative in Mpumalanga by identifying 50 prospective rural women clients and lent each of them R300 for self employment. Three months later, 100% of the loans had been repaid!!! For the past 25 years they have helped thousands of women to establish businesses through which they have been able to tackle crate of their families. As a matter of fact more, than 180 000 rural women have benefited from loans totalling more than R400 million. More than 3000 women have received literacy and basic business skills training. Mrs Mbeki and her associates believe strongly in the thinking that one day poverty will exist only as a museum exhibit. When I read this story I was extremely inspired and encouraged that a woman who doesn’t have to do a thing for the nation has taken such a bold step to empower the forgotten women in the rural areas. She has stepped up and given them a whole lot of fishing rods and succeeded in making them rake in a lot of fish. Thank you Ma Zanele Mbeki – you have shown me that there is hope and you are indeed a selfless revolutionary.
Plenty of other stories this weekend – Oscar Pistorious’ father is coming out guns blazing and is fighting for his son. Read it as you will and cast aspersions but the way I see it; your child is your child. There is no parent who would sit back and watch their own child take a beating like Oscar has. Let me state outright that I hold no brief for the murder and I also understand that Henk deserted his kids but one never stays a deadbeat dad for life. Oscar will get out at some stage and he will need his father to join his life.
And what of Chriselda Dudumashe being forced to choose between her 9-5 at Metro FM and being an ANC councilor? It’s a tough life and choices have to be made one way or another. Thabo Mbeki made his choice not to support the ANC under Jacob Zuma soon after Polokwane, and he is living with his choice or decision. When Kgalema Motlanthe told SA that Mbeki would be doing door to door campaigning, I didn’t believe it at all. Choices and more choices! Notice however, that Tokyo Sexwale, and other ANC stalwarts that at least I didn’t think would be campaigning publicly like Mavuso Msimang, have come out to publicly support their party. I guess Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s words haven’t fallen on deaf ears – he told a gathering of middle class voters that they should not judge the ANC by who is leading it. August the 3rd is just right around the corner and only time will tell. This week, the bell tolls though, for the fired SABC journalists and their nemesis Hlaudi Motsoeneng. We are living in interesting times indeed.