Mental wellness centre enthusiastically tending to caregivers

Situated in Lonely Park, a village outside Mafikeng, Moroka Mental Wellness Centre is determined to improve the well-being of those who care for the mentally ill in the community.

Thato Mpolokeng, the founder of the NPO which was registered in October 2016 says that a lot of people do not realise how important it is to take care of the caregivers. “We assist the caregivers to be the best that they can be”, she said.

The centre was born after Mpolokeng relocated from Johannesburg to Mafikeng to take care of her uncle named Moroka who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1983. Mpolokeng shares that her uncle`s condition had deteriorated to a point where he was roaming the streets unwashed and eating from rubbish bins. She explains that while she was taking care of her uncle, she realised that more people needed help and decided to reach out.

The centre is making progress in terms of its development plans. This is evident among other things in their newly erected building,  testimonies from those receiving help, positive response for their painting donations and a garden with a variety of seasonal vegetables. “We are going to be developing programs for kids because we believe that it is where it all starts. We are going to be doing fun activities for the children to get them out of the streets”, said Mpolokeng.

Stephen Bekker who is in charge of gardening for the centre, has built a greenhouse and an aqua phonic system. Bekker who is currently a props buyer for one of mzanzi`s popular soapies Rhythm City, excitedly expressed his passion for gardening. “I am not a farmer as such but I have always been gardening at home. Now it is just taking it a little step further and try to inspire other people”, he said. “I have a Facebook page called Hope seeds hope which is inspired by my Buddhist practice. We are encouraged to develop ourselves and our communities through spreading hope”, he added.

Moroka Mental Wellness Centre wishes to see the community being more kind to each other. “If we are not helping each other, there is nothing we can achieve. Unity is important in order for us to make a difference”, they emphasize. The centre  also wishes to express their sincere gratitude to those who have supported them as they have recently requested paint donations from the public.

To know more or make a contribution, Thato Mpolokeng can be reached on 078 991 5233 alternatively you can reach Moroka Mental Wellness Centre on Facebook.


Career uncertainty woes haunting tertiary youth

Second year Bachelor of Nursing Science student at the North West University (NWU) Mafikeng, Tsholofelo Semaushu relates her tertiary experience. She too is tormented by the many challenges that plaque our South African youth.

The 21 year old Semaushu who considers herself an average student, passed all her modules last year and says first year was not difficult for her. She recalls how she enjoyed orientation time last year January. “It felt like we are back again at crèche. We played, we really had fun. It was really nice”, she said excitedly. In addition to making new friends, Semaushu sadly admits that securing financial assistance for her studies was the most difficult part of being a first year.

After matric she stayed at home for a year because she did not have money, as she was accepted for a psychology course at NWU. She discloses that nursing was never an option for her. Her dream was to study medicine, psychology being her second option. The physically captivating student says she also has aspirations of being a model but does not know where to start.

Since beginning with her nursing practical this month, Semaushu says that she is not sure if she wants to continue with nursing anymore. “I enjoyed working at the clinic but the hospital is very different. I meet people who are very ill”, she said in low spirit. “I feel pain and want to help them but I can`t. It becomes too much for me. I feel like I can`t anymore”, she added.

The future looks uncertain for Semaushu. She is currently trying to get all the help she can get. Being a highly spiritual person, she says she trusts God that everything will work out in the end. “If it gets too hard, I always pray”, she says.

Chilombo Mbenga who is a communications lecturer and also a final year PhD student at the NWU Mafikeng advices the students not to “sweat the small stuff and take it one day at a time”. She points out that in high school teachers give you a one on one whereas in university it is everyone for themselves.

Mbenga also shares a few coping strategies for the first years. “Proper time management is the most effective tool. We all have 24 hours in a day. What you do with those 24 hours determines your tomorrow”, she says. “Picking the right friends will either make you or break you. Get the right friends that will help you to go through your university career until graduation”, she added.

A 2017 guide co-ordinated by Dr Andre van Zyl who is the director of the Academic Development Centre at the University of Johannesburg quotes research done by the Council of Higher Education (CHE) in 2013, that tracked students in South African universities over a period of five years.

The research showed that the transition that students have to make between school and higher education seems to be particularly problematic. When the data were more closely analysed, it became clear that the first year of study is a time of exceptionally high drop-out rates.


MEC OR MOCHWARE message of condolences

The Department of Culture, Arts and Traditional Affairs is deeply saddened and shocked by the passing of Kgosi, Dr Lucas Manyane Mangope who was the leader of the Bahurutshe-Boo Manyane tribe in Motshwedi – North West Province.

We wake up with heavy hearts after receiving the sad news of the passing of Kgosi Manyane Mangope. Kgosi Mangope died on the 18th January 2018 and had just celebrated his 94th Birthday on the 27th of December 2017 in his home in Motswedi Village Lehurutshe.

He was the onetime President of the former Bophuthatswana Homeland and the founder of the United Christian Democratic Party (UCDP). Kgosi Manyane Mangope had recently relinquished his duties as the Kgosi of his clan and was succeeded by his son Conel Kwena Mangope.

We would like to convey our deepest condolences to the Mangope family, relatives, friends and the Bahurutshe who have lost an upright leader, a teacher, a great disciplinarian, an astute orator and a politician.

On 13 March 1994, Lucas Mangope was ousted as President of the homeland of Bophuthatswana.  Mangope came to power in Bophuthatswana in 1966 during the reign of former Prime Minister B J Vorster Mangope governed Bophuthatswana from 1977 until 1994.  His reign was characterised by widespread corruption and mismanagement.  Mangope was deposed in 1994 after he refused to allow free campaigning in Bophuthatswana as well as not wanting to take part in the general election that was to be held during that year. In December 1991, like other homeland leaders at the Codesa talks, Mangope attempted to present Bophuthatswana as a semi-independent territory, with the same status as the British protectorates of Swaziland and Lesotho.  This ploy failed to change the view of Bophuthatswana as an Apartheid sham state.  In March 1994, rioting broke out in Bophuthatswana and Mangope called in his erstwhile allies the Afrikaner Weerstand Beweging (AWB) to support his regime and thus prevent the homeland from collapsing.  This invasion failed and the South African Government in consultation with the African National Congress (ANC) ousted Mangope as leader of Bophuthatswana.

Additional reporting from the South African History Online (SAHO)


Lets embrace 2018!

Most can agree that we experienced 2017 differently. Some got married, some gave birth, and some got major breakthroughs, while others did not attain their goals and even lost their loved ones. What is important is that we should all appreciate the lessons and achievements in 2017 and joyfully embrace 2018.

Never forget that whatever the mind can conceive, the mind can achieve. A mountain does not have to be a roadblock but a stepping stone towards greatness. The hardships that come to test us are not meant to break us but to make us stronger. Let us all use our 365 days fruitfully. Some watch things happen, some make them happen, which one do you chose to be?

Remember that in the end, life is what you make of it. Medallist Link wishes everyone a joyous, blessed and prosperous 2018!