Apr 19

Rogers Ngcobo – Interview with P.S.N. ‘Two Boys’ Shandu

by in History & Memories

According to Mr Praiseworth Sizamele Nkosinathi ‘Two-Boys’ Shandu, Inanda has not been given the rightful respect it deserves by both the province and the National government for its gigantic contribution to the history and the struggle of South Afica. What everyone has been talking about is Soweto only. iNanda is the home of the founders of the African National Congress, known then as African Native National Congress by it funders such as Dr J.L Dube the first president and Pixley Ka Isaka KaSeme. People such as Bertha Mkhize, King Edward Masinga lived at iNanda.Maybe there has been something that has been done by the latter mentioned heroes but there are some ground leaders who will always be the pride of iNanda who were never recognized. People such as Rogers Ngcobo who was the secretary of NPSL nationally. Rogers will be remembered by his bold act in 1973 when he kept a trophy at his house after Orlando Pirates won the league. He didn’t want to release the trophy because in the previous year 1972 AmaZulu won the league and just because they were from KwaZulu Natal they were not given the prize they deserved as champions of the South African league. Only when AmaZulu were paid then Rogers released the trophy.

Rogers was a very strong person a community leader and an advocate for the people of  Inanda. He uses to call himself “uMmeli” a Zulu translation for lawyer in English. This used to put him in hot water with the authorities as they argued with him that he is not a professional lawyer. Rogers would play with the authorities and tell them that it is his brother Reggie who was a qualified lawyer. He himself is not a lawyer but he is “uMmeli” as in a representative of the people not a professional lawyer because “ukumela” in Zulu means you are representing something or someone.

Inanda Newtown A.B.C township popular known as eMatendeni right opposite Gandhi Settlement began after the outbreak of typhoid at Piesang farm (eMaoti and aMaotana) . People were moved by the government of the day working together with a construction company known to as Urban Foundation under the leadership of Allen Morton.

When people arrived at New Town, they were only given green tents to reside in. Such tents were placed in a slopy areas as there was no foundation made for them. It was hard for people, families to live in such tents. Urban foundation and the government provided open toilets, with no roads, shops, hospitals, schools and no clinic. This made as situation worse for the people. However due to hard work by people such as Rogers Ngcobo all that is history as iNanda Newtown is a beautiful township now with almost all the necessities that the “perfect community” might need in order to live.

Interview with Sabine Marschall and Xolani Magwaza at UCC, eNanda, 14 February 2013.

Transcript/summary by Xolani Magwaza

For more information on some of the icons or organizations mentioned in this post click on one of the links below:

The South African Native National Congress – SA History Online

Pixley Ka Seme – SA History Online

Bertha Mkhize

King Edward Msinga



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