Tag Archives: Rogers Ngcobo
April 19, 2013

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

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

 

 

April 19, 2013

Wilfred Molefe about Sizanani

Wilfred Molefe interviewed by Xolani Magwaza on 21 January 2013.

Wilfred Molefe was born at iSiphingo. He grew up at uMlazi. Around 1967 he was doing missionary work around a community deep in KwaZulu Natal known to as eMbo with a Dutch missionary by the name of Johannes. Their missionary work was done around the times/ leadership of chief Mhlabunzima and Mvana Mkhize whom Wilfred claims that they worked well together.

The missionary’s role was to apply for funding in Holland to build schools, churches and clinics around the eMbo area. But due to getting older and the difficult roads they travelled to, Wilfred had to quit the missionary work. He decided to leave uMlazi and relocate to iNanda around the late 1990’s. When Wilfred arrived at Inanda, he was inspired by the leadership of Rogers Ngcobo whom he regards as one of the finest leaders of iNanda. Wilfred explained that even after Rogers death his or the community spirit to work hard for each other and to bring about good change to the community was never seized.

Following on the footsteps of Rogers Ngcobo, Wilfred and his sister- in-law started a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) named Sizanani (help each other). However there was lack of patience amongst the members and false accusation by other members about leaders. Members did not really understand what an NGO is. They thought that an NGO is a money making company. Due to that they developed impression that the leaders were getting money while others were not getting a thing. Just because most of the members joined because they were desperate and they needed money, this resulted to them lacking patience with regards to the development of the organisation. These infightings and misunderstandings by members paralysed the organization that it had to be stopped for some time.

However Wilfred and his sister in-law never gave up. The company was resurrected. On top of that they have started another children’s branch called Hlanganani (come together/ unite). In Hlanganani programme, kids do things such as sports, music and indigenous games. HIV is a problem in the community, this has resulted in the organization working together with local clinics to get nurses who will go to schools or come to the organisation to do workshops about health related issues. Hlanganani programme is also working together with Love Life where they visit schools and teach learners about sex related issues and living a successful life. The school working together with Hlanganani as their case study at the moment is called Mvaba High School also within the boundaries of iNanda.

There are other programmes that Sizanani is working on. Women are trained to do bead work, art and  craft. These women are producing traditional products which are sold at Sizanani and for the community to help parents have an income. According to Mr. Molefe Sizanani had a dream of building a mortuary at iNanda. However due to the negative ideas of people when one has a mortuary in the heart of the community. People think that you want to kill people.

Mr Wilfred Molefe, his sister-in-law and partners have worked so hard to help change the lives of the elderly and the youth of iNanda to be active participants in their future. This year Sizanani is optimistic that they will be having their celebration of ten years in operation. Their aim was to have about 20 members but now they have above 40 of which is a success worth celebrating too.

February 6, 2013

Rogers A. Ngcobo (Bro)

Rodgers Ngcobo was a father, a husband, a teacher and a business man and a prominent leader of Inanda Community. He worked tirelessly for the development and the improvement of the quality of life of the people of Inanda. He is a role model to a lot of people at Inanda that even today his footsteps are still visible that they keep the new generation asking questions about him. People who know him cannot stop speaking about him and wondering what would Inanda look like if he was still alive.

What did he do?

  1. Teacher/Principal
  2. Businessman
  3. Community leader (Inanda Development Committee)

He had the first black owned bottle store at Inanda. The only bottle store that was nearby Inanda at that time was the one in Reds Hills (Durban North) which was white owned. People at Inanda found it hard to have access/ buy western alcohol as black people were not permitted to by alcohol in white areas so they relied on traditional beer (Umqombothi/isiZulu, isiQatha or Ugavini). Sometimes they would buy from coloureds stores, however just because coloured people knew that Africans did not know western alcohol they robbed them by selling them tea. A person will realise when he is at home that it not brandy or wine but tea. Therefore this bottle store was a breakthrough for some of Inanda people to consume and sell western alcohol.

  1. Bus company/ Umbuso wamaQadi

Seeing that the Indian bus company owned by Indians called Romnanan has been refused permission to operate at Inanda, after the accident that killed a lot of black passengers and realising that the black owned company/ cooperation that took over known as Ukuthuthuka KwamaQadi owned by Mr “Double men” Magwaza, Mambo, and Mdima cannot meet the demands of hundreds Inanda passengers from different locations. Rogers decided to start his own bus company which he name Umbuso wamaQadi. His buses helped a lot of people from places such as Inanda Glebe, eMachobeni, Ntuzuma and surrounding areas. Roger buses helped in the development of new roads as it is sad that he would let his buses drive even in places where there was no access to his passengers but he will make a way.

His buses did not only transport commercial passengers but undercover he transported African National Congress (ANC) members in ANC rallies such as burning of passes in Sharpville. This was not an easy act because it was during the apartheid times whereby Mr Rodgers risked his life and company for the liberation of the African people.In his wife words “it was not an easy journey going to Sharpeville.. We had a lot of stop overs along the road buy Afrikaner policemen. However we left knowing that this was going to happen and we were fully prepared for it. We forged our permit and said we are going a place after Gauteng where there was a church conference happening at the same week as the burning of passes in Sharpville. Luckily they managed to pass all the road blocks and lengthy interrogations and they made it to Sharpeville”.

Community Leader

Rodgers Ngcobo as it is evidence now that he was had love and passion for the development of his community and its people. He worked selflessly for his community. When Inanda Dam was built a lot of people around eSkebheni area was relocated to Inanda Newtown. The conditions were not favourable for the people to live in as they were offered green tents with no toilets to leave to live in. Mr Rodgers Ngcobo spearheading (chairman) Inanda Newtown Development. Which looked at Inanda land issues and development together with other members refused to let people who were evicted in their own land leaving in peace to see them leaving in tents with no sewerage and school. From time to time in meetings/ cases held at Verulem Magistrate court he questioned the company responsible for the development of Inanda Newtown if they can leave in place where there are no toilets, hospitals and schools. With their boldness, Inanda Newtown Development won or was able to convince developers to include things like toilets and schools and building bricks houses for people as the tents were not durable enough to survive heavy storms and rains and not suitable for the family life. Today Inanda Newtown (A,B and C) Citizens enjoy the benefits of work of people such as Rodgers (Bro) Engcobo as they were built beautiful bricks four room houses, they have clinics and beautiful schools such as Inanda Newtown Comprehensive High School and Imbali Yama Zulu.

Source: Interview by Xolani Magwaza with Mrs Winifred Ngcobo on 14 January 2013 and Mr Wilfred Molefe on 21 January 2013.

Listen to the recordings in isiZulu: Rogers Ngcobo (Winifred Ngcobo-1) Rogers Ngcobo (Winifred Ngcobo-2)

Rogers Ngcobo (Wilfred Molefe)

For more information on certain topics mentioned in  this post click on one of the following links:

The Sharpeville Massacre – South African History Online