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Chola Nono, Coca Mhlali campaign sees learners cleaning up Addo Road

Oct 2, 2018
Chola Nono, Coca Mhlali campaign sees learners cleaning up Addo Road

“Chola nono, Coca Mhlali”, is loosely translated to “pick up and clean it up” which is exactly what Mantis Collection did in the Motherwell area of Port Elizabeth on Friday.

"In celebration of Tourism Month, Mantis envisioned giving 1 000 children from the township of Motherwell experiences that would expose them to tourism and conservation," described Mandisa Magwaxaza from the Mantis Collection.

"So began the story of the Chola Nono, Coca Mhlali by Mantis - a campaign which was launched with a clean-up of Addo Road on Friday.

"The purpose of this campaign is to instil a paradigm shift in disadvantaged scholars through environmental and educational programmes, as well as active participation in keeping their communities clean."

Magwaxaza said that Mantis Collection partnered with the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to carry out a cleaning initiative on Addo Road [R355] in Motherwell.

"This road is a popular route for tourists to take to Addo Elephant National Park. However, it is littered with plastic and rubbish that blows in from the adjacent community," she added.

"Since September is Tourism Month, the initiative was set to create awareness on the importance of the tourism industry, in particular to children at schools in Ward 54 and Ward 55 of Motherwell - the communities that lie adjacent to the road to Addo Elephant Park."

Addo Road clean-up

Over 800 grade 5, 8 and 9 learners from Imbasa Primary School, Melisizwe Primary School, Ncedo Secondary School and Mfesane High School arrived at the meeting point, which was Imbasa Primary in NU12, Motherwell at 07:30 on Friday morning.

"The Mantis Collection and Twizza provided fruit and water on arrival, and the children were equipped with safety gloves and masks which were sponsored by Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. The scholars then set off to their demarcated cleaning zones along the R355 and R344 roads," Magwaxaza  described.

"Traffic Services and Sector Policing Forums were present in their numbers to keep everybody safe. The pupils collected a truckload of rubbish, which will be sorted for recycling purposes.

"While the clean-up was taking place at Addo Road, the march-and-drill team from Melisizwe Primary School paraded through the communities of NU12 and NU11 accompanied by SAPS volunteers holding crucial ‘do not litter’ messages."

She said that after the clean-up all children and volunteers were transported to the NU30 Community Hall where Mantis provided lunch and refreshments and the educational part of the programme took place.

"The MC was talented local speaker and radio host, Tasco Festile, who kept everybody engaged and entertained. The children were also treated to music by a local DJ, a praise singer and a play by Mfesane High School. Speakers who addressed the learners included Emmy Nxayeka from The Waste Management Company, Mr Zanele Korte from the Municipal Depo, Lunga Minyayo from the Motherwell Policing Forum, and Mandisa Magwaxaza from Mantis," Magwaxaza added.

"Environmental awareness, personal health, recycling, waste prevention, and tourism were the topics of the day. The afternoon ended with public speaking presentations from the junior schools and a debate between the senior schools which also revolved around these crucial social issues.

"The seniors’ debate was won by Mfesane High School, and the five debating champions and their educator were awarded a 2-night stay at Fish River Resort by Mantis.

"The runners-up from Ncedo Secondary School all received Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Passes to experience various tourist attractions around The Bay. All the pupils that participated in the clean-up will receive free day trips to Addo Elephant National Park."

Chola Nono, Coca Mhlali campaign aims to educate the youth

She said that Motherwell is an impoverished part of Nelson Mandela Bay.

"Therefore, the children in this area are unlikely to have had access to tourism experiences and are unaware of the benefit that the tourism can have on society.

"The Chola Nono, Coca Mhlali campaign aims to educate the youth on the impact of littering and recycling, encourage the youth to ‘do tourism’ as well as give the children an opportunity to experience tourism first hand," Magwaxaza added.

When announcing this initiative at the Mantis Fundraising Gala for that Mandela Metro Art Museum on the Thursday, Adrian Gardiner (Chairman of Mantis) said; "On a recent trip to Rwanda I was incredibly inspired by how clean the country is. The president and all his people take time to pick up litter and ensure that every public space is free of plastic.

"The African continent can learn a lot from Rwanda, and we at Mantis, are paying attention and replicating their environmental practice in Port Elizabeth, the home of our head quarters”.

Magwaxaza said that the Clean-up was made possible by various stakeholders who have made generous contributions to ensure that the pupils receive food, refreshments, and safe, fun learning experience.

"Sponsors include Addo Elephant National Park, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism, Mpact, Shoprite, Twizza, and the Mandela Bay Development Agency."

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