The Congress of the People (COPE) and residents of Ngcingwane village in the Eastern Cape have commemorated political stalwart and community builder, Nomaka Epainette Mbeki. MaMbeki died at the age of 98 in 2014. She was the founding member of the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce.
MaMbeki ran projects at Cingwana village to develop the lives of the people. Lulama Sangqu was one of those who worked in MaMbeki’s projects. She says she acquired a skill that still benefits her and her family today.
Sangqu says, “COPE has made us realise that our icons like MaMbeki we just let them go and never remember their work. In this village we have a bit habit of forgetting what people have done and forget about them. I would celebrate MaMbeki by carrying on doing what she was doing not destroying what she has done.”
Member of COPE Funiwe Phatlho says MaMbeki worked tirelessly to help other people
“She worked tirelessly. She built the school. So we decided to come and say mama we still remember you as Congress Of The People. MaMbeki was a generous person. She didn’t discriminate against people. She worked with everybody in this village. She even established two cooperatives for women where she was teaching them hand work,” said Phathlo.
COPE’s Deputy President, Willie Masdisha, says they will name some of the projects after MaMbeki.
“People are struggling, people don’t have jobs, people are poor, women are being raped on daily basis. All these kind of things cannot be taken anymore, what she has done was a lot, she did not only stay behind to do her job because her husband was in jail and children in exile. She contributed a lot to make sure young people are able to work. In COPE we are going to name some of the major project after her,” added Madisha.
Although some of the projects begun by MaMbeki are no longer functioning, some residents remain inspired to continue her legacy.
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