By Yolulwe Qoshe
WATCH: Phiwe Nomlomo, Chase Morrison and Luvuyo Lusaseni giving back to the community of Tsomo
“Charity begins at home” How often do you hear that phrase? Probably more often than you see it being implemented, but, it was put to reality this weekend by Sharks Rugby Skills Specialist Phiwe Nomlomo.
Durban-based Nomlomo took a road trip back to his home province of the
Eastern Cape, where he linked up with former Sharks and Lions loose forward Luvuyiso “Loaf”Lusaseni, former Cheetahs prop Chase Morrison as well Mzikayise Nomlomo in an initiative designed to give back and give hope by means of donating face masks and food parcels to the
people of his rural homestead in Tsojana in Tsomo.
“I had first caught wind of a starvation issue in the area, and upon my homecoming and seeing it for myself, I became even more worried” said Nomlomo. During these strict times, where the president of the Republic, Cyril Ramaphosa has imposed varying restrictions, in order to minimize the chances of citizens catching the deadly Covid-19, Nomlomo, however, isn’t
oblivious to the most deadly real life threat to his people in Tsojana.
“The overarching perspective I gained from this is that, Covid-19 isn’t the killer in our village, we haven’t even had one recorded death from it, and the actual killer which we are faced with is starvation, that is our biggest pandemic and ultimately our immediate reality” he said. Nomlomo also points to the fact that, this isn’t a fresh threat to his village nor the whole continent of Africa itself for that matter, just that its effects have since been amplified by Covid-19.
“Imagine how it is now? Especially in the extremely poor communities. The majority of the people here in Tsojana (We looking at roughly 80%) are unemployed, others are retired and no longer receive the income
they had grown accustomed to. He continues to highlight the difficulties faced by the local residents “The only source of money some receive are grants, they literally live off grants so can you imagine having to feed on average a family of five, on a grant” exclaimed.
The former E.P Kings Academy Head reveals he just wanted to push others to follow suit with similar actions, in their own regions especially in these trying times. “We were hoping to encourage a lot of other people to get involved, let’s all get up and be counted for. It was a thought that was born and there have been fantastic people who have been part and parcel of
that”. Nomlomo, then gives us an insight on his possible future endeavors. “There are a lot of projects I want to get involve with, especially in communities that are really struggling, and where there are people who have been neglected”. He continued with a powerful message, “We’ve got to give hope in this world, and faith as well as start making people believe that they, too can change the world”.
Nomlomo acknowledges the hard work that went into the day, and wanted to extend his gratitude to all the role players that made it possible. “It’s been
overwhelming that all of this has been done in just a week, special thanks must go to Build It from Tsomo, Spar from Cofimvaba, Super Spar Gonubie and Beck Trading for their immense support, as well as everyone else that was kind enough to donate” he said.
“Coach P” as he is affectionately known in the rugby circles has continued to make great strides for more than a decade now, is one of the most revered young talented coaches in the country right now, a tag he probably wouldn’t have allowed himself to dream of as a kid running around barefoot in Tsojana, however, he is hoping initiatives like these can help change the mentality of the next generation.
“I wanted to show people that we can be better, and progress from the rural areas like myself who was born here, give hope that, even a child raised by this village can also achieve one day. It was beautifully said by our regions leadership Body representative during his thank you speech that, not even the local government takes such initiative for its people like this, sending them a very clear message about how important their vote is to their well being going forward” he concluded.
*Don’t forget to catch Nomlomo, on his The Bus Is Full: With Coach P sports talk show, live on Grit Sports Facebook platforms on selected Friday.