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“I care about this centre”

4 September 2017

Gogo Emma

By Thabiso Molopo

Gogo Emma Mbokane runs Zenzeleni Stimulation Centre in Siyabuswa B, Mpumalanga where they take care and teach 38 persons with disability from Monday to Friday.

The centre, which Gogo started alone in 1997 at her house has 3 rooms at the moment; one for office use, the other for classes and the other one is the kitchen. Emma said her granddaughter was disabled, which is how the passion started.

“My granddaughter had a disability – it was very difficult to look after her and I ended up taking her to a centre in Bronkhorspruit. Unfortunately she passed on while she was at the centre because she got really ill. That affected me a lot and saw the need to start the stimulation centre so that I look after the disabled kids in the community,” said gogo Emma.

Gogo explained that they need financial assistance in order to expand their building.

“We basically have one room that we use with the kids and they are a lot of them. When it rains we have to try and fit all of them in one room. We can’t take any more kids because we have a limited space and there are so many kids that want to come here,” said the worried gogo.

Gogo also said most of the kids are from disadvantaged families.

“Some of the kids depend on their grants, they pay for their own transport to get them here and some are orphans. Two of the students said they really value the centre and they are looking after them very well.

Ofentse Mohosetsi, 13 years old, who is partially blind, spoke of how he loves the centre.

“My parents divorced and now my mother works as cleaner in Pretoria. I came to the centre to learn and I love being here, at least it keeps me busy” said the young boy from Siyabuswa.

Gogo is not running the centre alone though, there are other six women who help her on daily basis to make sure everything goes well.

“Anyone who can help us financially can contact me, we are really desperate now,” concluded Gogo Emma.

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