Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

It was back to school this week for primary and high school children who attend public schools in Mpumalanga.

The cold weather placed a damper on the children's enthusiasm, especially those attending schools in areas that are disadvantaged.

But this was not the case with pupils at Mgwenyane Higher Primary in Kabokweni near White River and John Mdluli Primary, a farm school in Mattafin outside Nelspruit.

Christmas came early for hundreds of needy pupils who were given shoes, tracksuits, socks, jerseys and ties.

The Good Samaritan who brought the presents said it was "to ease the children's woes during the winter period".

The kind gesture was made by a woman who said she owes her existence to Mpumalanga.

Nawaal Motlekar, previously known as Nolwazi Mdluli, who is managing director of Kwenta Investments and also heads a number of other business ventures, gave generously to the needy pupils of the schools.

This gesture of goodwill, according to Motlekar, is appropriate at this time because the citizens of the country have dedicated July as Moral Rejuvenation Month.

So what better way to mark the month than to show kindness and compassion to people in need, she asked.

She said: "A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank balance was, what sort of house I lived in or even what kind of clothes I wore.

"But what I hope is that the world will be a different because I made a difference in the lives of children in need."

Motlekar, who now lives in Johannesburg, said she was born and bred in Mpumalanga, a province she still holds dear to her heart many years after leaving it.

The donation was made through Kwenta, an investment company that Motlekar owns. Last year she donated blankets to needy people.

Motlekar was the first black woman to head the South African Tourism Office in London. She called on the business community to either adopt a needy child or a disadvantaged school.