Industrious and conscientious Sihlaku passes on

Yet another beacon of nation-building excellence has faded, and Sowetan and its Community Builder of the Year Awards partners are grieving.

Yet another beacon of nation-building excellence has faded, and Sowetan and its Community Builder of the Year Awards partners are grieving.

Lefa Sihlaku, left, who represented Eastern Cape as a wiry 21-year-old in the awards' finals, sponsored and organised with Old Mutual and SABC, passed away recently after an illness.

Late last year and early this year we lost, one after the other, Gauteng community building stars Siyabonga Mlhongo who was a youth section finalist in 2005, and the elderly Winnie Mabaso, who was in last week's finals.

Proving that he was not an overnight community-building success, Sihlaku started the Masifundisane Life Skills Project in 1995. It was initially based in Khayelitsha in Cape Town, Western Cape.

Before his death, Sehlaku worked from Mount Fletcher and Matatiele in Eastern Cape.

Masifundisane's work featured educational school tours. Sowetan was one of the places Sihlaku visited, accompanied by teachers and pupils from lower, primary and secondary schools from Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Sihlaku was an industrious and conscientious community- development hero. May his soul rest in peace. - Victor Mecoamere

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