Plans for MaShelembe's 'provincial baby shower' scrapped
A “provincial baby shower” planned for Makhosazana “MaShelembe” Shelembe, who recently suffered heartbreak and humiliation on national TV, has been cancelled.
MaShelembe was reduced to tears on a recent episode of Mnakwethu, a show where men ask for help to introduce polygamy to their wives, when her husband Bheki Langa informed her that she should accept his pregnant mistress as his second wife.
Moved by her story, a group of KwaZulu-Natal women, led by former journalist and consumer activist Ncumisa Ndelu, rallied to plan a treat for MaShelembe, complete with a spa treatment, transport in a luxury vehicle from her home in Nquthu, near Dundee, to Durban and gifts for the baby.
The baby shower, a drive-through and gift drop, was set to take place at Durban's Botanic Gardens on September 26.
But on Monday Ndelu said in a statement that the event had been cancelled because it would clash with another baby shower that also had been planned for MaShelembe on September 26.
Ndelu said after reaching out to MaShelembe after the show aired last week, she had agreed verbally and via text to be available between September 24 and 26 for what was initially planned as a pamper weekend.
Ndelu's original idea changed into a provincial baby shower when MaShelembe informed her she was pregnant and due in November.
As plans progressed and pledges for assistance came in “thick and fast”, Ndelu said she was in contact with MaShelembe “to ensure that I don’t overstep any boundary or do anything she did not agree with.
“On Friday afternoon she informed me that another baby shower was being planned but reassured me that she would attend the Durban baby shower because I had approached her first. I proceeded with the plan.
“This morning I requested the name of a school closest to her to enable the driver to find her easily. At this point, she informed me that on Friday she will be travelling to Empangeni. I then asked how this was possible because we had agreed on the weekend and everything it entailed.”
Ndelu said MaShelembe informed her that another baby shower had been planned for Saturday.
When Ndelu spoke to the organiser to try to accommodate “all the women who wanted to shower Makhosi with love”, she said the organiser “made it clear that her plan was not flexible in any way, but promised to speak to her committee and get back to me in an hour with a resolution”.
She decided to cancel the event “based on the content and tone of the conversation” with the organiser of the other baby shower.
To avoid any conflict or perception of conflict, I decided to withdraw from the situation.Ncumisa Ndelu
Ndelu tried to contact MaShelembe to plan a way forward, but was told via text that she was “a bit busy”.
Ndelu said in her statement: “Makhosi is pregnant. I did not and do not want to be the cause or part of the cause of undue emotional or physical stress to her by putting her in an uncomfortable position.
“To avoid any conflict or perception of conflict, I decided to withdraw from the situation.”
But Ndelu has not stopped the collection of gifts for MaShelembe.
“Ntsike Magwaza of Mrs Hairfidence had generously allowed us to use her business to drop off gifts for those who would not be available for the drive through gift drop-off and baby shower on Sunday. This need not stop.
“Gifts can still be dropped off at 494 Lilian Ngoyi Road (Windermere), Morningside, in Durban. I will find another Good Samaritan to transport the gifts to Nquthu.”
“These past few days I have learnt with such pride that as South Africans we are a kind, compassionate and generous people and that is what I am taking from this experience. I am humbled by the response from ordinary women and women who hold positions of power, who reached out personally because they too were touched as women.
“My appreciation goes especially to the women and men in business who came forward voluntarily, asking for nothing in return.
“I wish Makhosi all the best and may this love shown to her by the whole country carry her on her journey,” said Ndelu.
MaShelembe did not immediately respond to TimesLIVE's request for comment.
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