Sitting next to each other while listening to a heartrending speech by internationally recognized Philanthropist and business woman Dr Smelly Dube who treated the elderly, underprivileged and the vulnerable to an early Christmas in Gweru recently, Gogo Rondiya Muruki and Lindiwe Madhuveko, both broke down uncontrollably.
By Delicious Mathuthu
For Gogo Muruki, there were tears of sorrow, relating the speech to real life that she had gone through while for Madhuveko, there were tears of joy, also looking back from where she came form to where she is today, all because of one tenderhearted, Dr. Dube.
For both, the helping hand had come at a good time.
Speaking during an early Christmas treat for the disabled, the elderly women, widows and vulnerable children at River Valley Properties Headquarters, several beneficiaries took turns to narrate how the organization has impacted positively in their lives through Dr Dube and husband Mncedisi Dube.
One of the people who attended the event, Nomalanga Ndagurwa, a former head at Bhembe St Joseph Primary School in Lower Gweru and now based at Matonga Primary School in Gweru said she was touched both women who could not hold their tears during the speech.
It later came out that Gogo Muruki was abandoned by her daughter who left her to fend for her two children who both have physical disabilities.
As this was not enough, Ndagurwa said Gogo later suffered stroke which is suspected to have been caused by stress.
“I first met Gogo during my time as Deputy Head at Bhembe Primary and she told me that she was being looked after by River Valley Properties and she was staying with her daughter and two disabled grandchildren.
“The daughter, Beauty (mother to the disabled kids), abandoned her mother and two children saying she was tired of pushing wheelchairs. I think the stroke was due to pressure and stress that Gogo was facing looking after the kids and now she is also wheelchair bound.
“The daughter sold all the little property that Gogo had at the homestead, as we speak she has nothing and nowhere to go,” she said.
As Ndagurwa narrated the sad story, Gogo Muruki, sitting in her wheelchairs wept bitterly, only to be comforted by other people at the function.
Ndagurwa went on to drop the bombshell that the kids were currently vulnerable as the father on numerous occasions has attempted to rape on of the girls, however, medical tests revealed that there was no damage.
As for Madhuveko, it was a different story altogether. Madhuveko, who is visually impaired, used to survive through begging and slept in the open at Kudzanai long distance Bus terminus, but her life was uplifted by River valley Properties.
Currently, she is a proud mother and successful business woman as well.
“Had it not been for Dr Dube’s kindness I would still be a beggar and sleeping at the bus rank. I used to leave a miserable life but now I am a happily married woman. I was even assisted to have one of the best “glitzy” weddings.
“I have to thank God I am now a respectable woman because of Dr. (Smelly) Dube, I am now a business woman I buy and sell fabrics and I also opened a canteen that is doing very well in these hard economic conditions,” said Madhuveko.
In 2016, the visually impaired Lindiwe Putsira (42) and John Madhuveko (53) became the talk of the town when they became the first blind couple to host a five star wedding, driven in a convertible two-door Peugeot sports car and an array of top of the range SUVs.
Another beneficiary, Bernard Chitsa, a war veteran from Shurugwi had at some point given up on his life after suffering a leg ailment and was on his death bed, Dube the husband had to intervene and saved his life as well.
“I was on the verge of losing my life but Dr Dube and the husband whom I only happen to meet face to face today, paid for my medical expenses for me to go and see a specialist in Bulawayo. I was diagnosed of a chronic kidney disease,” said Chitsa.
Just like Chitsa, some of the beneficiaries who attended the early Christmas party were excited to finally meet with their benefactors. The beneficiaries have been receiving monthly groceries and allowances for the past five years.
Speaking at the Christmas party, Mncedisi, the husband to Dr Dube said giving did not mean they had much, but they were driven by the zeal to assist the underprivileged.
“We don’t give because we have abundant and excess but I want you to know that we are concerned about your situation and we love you, hence we have decided to celebrate early Christmas with you all,” said Dube.
More than 300 less privileged members of society from across the Province are set to benefit from the Christmas grocery hampers on top of their monthly groceries.