MAHLANYA – The second Mahlanya Fun Day drew a huge crowd of supporters on Saturday, despite the poor weather. The free annual Fun Day is organised by Kwakha Indvodza and partners and celebrates the young talent of Lobamba Lomzdala, as well as promoting positive messages and healthy living advice to those who attend.
Crowds of over 600 people attended the event, from the ages of 3 to 58, to watch the variety of performances in music, drama, dance, poetry and on the sports field, where soccer and volleyball were played. “What an incredible day!” exclaimed the programme director, Tom Churchyard, “I would like to thank all our performers, partners and the proud young men of Kwakha Indvodza for helping to make it such a success.”
The event, which is one of the highlights of the Kwakha Indvodza and Moya Centre calendars, is planned long in advance. “We have been looking forward to this day for many weeks, and were so pleased our hard work has paid off,” reported Ann Huysmann of the Moya Centre. “I especially loved to see the face painting and the smiles on the faces of these children, many of whom have such hardships in their lives.”
A particular highlight of the day was the much-anticipated soccer final between the Kwakha Indvodza Mbuluzi team and the local team, the Sivutsa Stars, ending dramatically in a 3-1 score to the Kwakha Mbuluzi boys. But proof of the real winners of the day was undoubtedly printed on the faces of every boy and girl as they left smiling, clutching their drawings and chatting happily about the fun they had and the things they had done.
‘Respect, Dignity and Honour’
Kwakha Indvodza, meaning ‘building a man’ in siSwati, is a male mentoring project which offers 15-25 year old boys a mentoring experience with successful men in a wide range of fields. The goals of this mentoring are to guide the young men towards financial independence, good male health and responsibility in their communities.
Mlamuli Zwane, one of the project’s longest-serving ‘indvos’ (meaning ‘half-indvodza’) added: “Kwakha Indvodza has helped me to be a strong man of tomorrow, to face challenges and make decisions on my own. With the guidance and encouragement of the mentors, I am now on my way to becoming a paramedic!”
Tom Churchyard, the Founding Director of Kwakha Indvodza, was quick to praise the huge efforts of the partners involved on the day. “I would especially like to warmly thank our friends at The Moya Centre, The Kaiizen Foundation (visiting from the USA), the Thorne Family and especially the audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for their kind contributions. Lastly, Kwakha Indvodza would not exist without the tireless work of its team of volunteer male mentors, who give their precious free-time to these young men every month.”
PwC, the main sponsor of the event for the second year running was singled out for their commitment to CSI, as Churchyard added that “without their generous donation, this day would never have happened”. PwC also attended the day and Mvuselelo Fakudze, a Resident Partner of the company, gave a stirring speech on what you can become if you work hard and keep focussed. Afterwards he added: “whatever your background, it should not be an impediment for growth. I also grew up looking after cattle in the mountains of the Ntondozi region and proceeded to join the Inkhanyeti regiment and become a Director at PwC. It just takes belief in yourself and a lot of hard work.”
Other partners attended the day, to entertain the children and disseminate positive messages to the attendees. These included Lusweti and PSI, who gave advice of sexual reproductive health, MAAVA and the Royal Swazi Police, who spoke about gender-based violence and the law, and Yebo Artreach, and Waterford Kamhlaba, who facilitated the art and craft stalls and sports tournament.