Nokutenda gets R20 per day from her parents to spend at school but the awesome girl saves the
money and buys food to feed the homeless. Her parents have joined in their daughter’s philanthropic gesture by giving her more money to buy groceries. They also use their vehicle to deliver
food to the various sites where the homeless stay.
Nokutenda lives at a flat in Gqeberha Central with her parents as well as her little brother. She is
in grade 9 at Paterson High School.
The petite girl said she was touched in 2020 by the plight of a homeless man who sought refuge
under the stairs of the flats where she lives. She said she feels compassionate towards the
homeless people’s daily struggle for food and decent accommodation.
She told the media:
“I started providing food in September 2020. It was raining and very cold that time when I saw
a destitute man with virtually nothing to warm himself up. He was crouched under the stairs of
our flat. I gave him food and a blanket.
“I then discovered that there were so many people, including children, in his position. That situation changed my perception of homeless people. They need our love and care because
most of them are not in the streets by choice.
Nokutenda does not give them food only but lectures the elderly people on good behaviour. She
discourages everyone from indulging in alcohol and drugs. She also dissuades them from ill-treating children.
“I always try to give children first preference because they get bullied by the adults who snatch
their food and blankets away. Hence, I always discourage the adults from that behaviour. I
don’t feel good knowing that I have food at home while other people around me are sleeping
on empty stomachs,” said Nokutenda.
She said she knows all the street corners in Gqeberha City where the homeless live.
She said she would like to be a businesswoman so that she gets money and the necessary resources to look after the homeless people. Her best subjects at school are natural sciences, economics and management sciences.
Harrison, 68, who did not want to mention his surname, said life on the street is awful.
He explained, “I am pleased that this little girl gives us food during weekends. This makes a
huge difference because it is not easy to get a meal these hard times. People just look at us
and pass without giving us anything. They take us as if we are a menace to them. I am grateful
to Nokutenda, who is making our weekends awesome.”
Nokutenda’s strides in assisting the underprivileged has not gone without being noticed. The Zimbabwe Migrants Support Network, ZiMSN, appointed her their Goodwill Ambassador as a gesture of appreciation for her sterling work.