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VIDEO: Over 2 800 pairs of school shoes donated at Reverend Tengo's birthday

By Afikile Lugunya - Jan 5, 2018
VIDEO: Over 2 800 pairs of school shoes donated at Reverend Tengo's birthday

Well-known Pastor of the Combined Methodist Church and founder of the Tengo Dialogue Foundation 4 Community Development Network Trust, Reverend Dr Xolani Tengo, on Thursday celebrated his 58th birthday by doing something different - giving back to his community.

Previously, on every 4th of January, the Reverend would invite friends and family to his home to celebrate his birthday, but this year he decided that the day not be about him, but about addressing the plight of many underprivileged learners, who cannot afford new pair of shoes as schools re-open soon.

Thus, the Reverend asked guests to his birthday, instead of or on top of gifts and presents, to bring along a pair of school shoes that he would donate to learners at 27 schools located around Port Elizabeth.

Sevearl local businesses, organisations and guests responded positively to the request. The Tengo Goba Business Trust donated 1 000 pairs of shoes; Afri-Save Cash & Carry brought 500 pairs; V-tech donated 500 pairs while the members of his congregation at the Combined Methodist Church brought 800 pairs.

Individual guests at the party also added a further 20 pairs of shoes for a combined total of 2 820 pairs of shoes.

Addressing guests, Rev Tengo’s wife, Xoliswa, said that the Reverand had always desired over the years to be able to use his birthday as an opportunity to help those in his community, especially deserving learners - even when he has passed on.

“We also don’t have much, but when we share it seems much and the heart rests well after knowing that someone else has benefited in a cent you thought was not much or was nothing," she described.

“The social grant these learners receive sometimes is not enough to do everything for them because they also have to eat, so that is why we thought that we should at least give them shoes."

A close friend and business partner of Rev Tengo's, Ayanda Peter said that he was supprised when he got to Pep stores and saw how affordable school shoes were when compared to a bottle of wine, so he bought two new pairs of school shoes.

The guests were later entertained and dined on meal based on braai-ed fish, which Reverand Tengo also hoped would instill a sense of healthy living in his guests.

For those that would want to partake in this noble project, the collection of shoes is open until the 1st of March. 

The collected shoes will be handed over to identified learners on the 8th of March.