Ricochet News

'God showed me the poverty coming in 2023, hence I planted this garden'

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 28, 2017
'God showed me the poverty coming in 2023, hence I planted this garden'

A Port Elizabeth man is among several local residents, who on Monday received gardening tools from a delegation from the Sister Cities Association in Jacksonville, Florida, United States of America, which is visiting the Nelson Mandela Bay as part of a greater Southern African Tour Group.

The visit follows an agreement of Cooperation and Friendship between Nelson Mandela Bay and Jacksonville, which was signed on 22 February 2000. Since the agreement, the two municipalities have collaborated in many areas.

Upon the delegation’s request, the Executive Mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, Councillor Athol Trollip, identified an Urban Agricultural Project in Motherwell, which the American delegation has undertaken to make a donation towards.  

A beneficiary of the Agricultural Project, Robert Matsabisa, does not only plants vegetables, herbs and flowers in a garden at his home, but says that he has been inspired by God to start the garden.

“God showed me the poverty that will come in 2023, so I decided that I will sacrifice myself to agriculture. While the government is trying to create jobs for people, I thought how about I just offer veggies to the workers so that they can eat.

“In the government facilities there’s always shortage of medical facility, I also thought what if they got sick so I planted herbs too,” Matsabisa explained.

Robert’s garden does show a man on a mission and is filled with different veggies and herbs.

He said that he is very grateful for the donation that he received and thanked Mayor Trollip for choosing him as a beneficiary.

Brenda Frinks, a resident of Jacksonville Florida and the co-founder of the Sister Cities Association, said that Matsabisa is an example to all.

“We are so pleased to see that a member of the community can be able to feed a society. He is an excellent example of what many can do to benefit South Africa."

Before donating items to Matsabisa’s garden, the Sister Cities Association also made donations to a library and referred to Nelson Mandela Bay as a 'sister’s house', which they always want to visit.

“We came with 21 tourists and some of them donated books to the library and the member’s travellers of the programme donated money out of their pockets,” Frinks said.

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