This week’s Unsung Hero worth his weight in gold

MAQHAWE Ziqubu, left, poses alongside Njabulo Msweli while on their walk across Zululand to raise funds for the needy.

MAQHAWE Ziqubu, left, poses alongside Njabulo Msweli while on their walk across Zululand to raise funds for the needy.

Published Nov 20, 2023


Durban — Maqhawe Ziqubu, 38, from KwaMthethwa in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, is the chairperson of the African Traditional Music Organisation, a non-profit organisation (NPO).

He created the body to assist upcoming artists from Empangeni to register their music with regulatory bodies such as the South African Music Rights Organisation, promoting their traditional attire and crafts, and to assist the youth with skills development such as helping them write their CVs.

He and his team have since broadened the organisation’s scope and are now doing charity work by donating vegetables, sanitary towels, school shoes and toiletries to young and underprivileged people in the community.

He is this week’s Unsung Hero.

Ziqubu’s team includes Njabulo Msweli, Philani Ntombela and Lindokuhle Sokhela. They began their charity work in 2018 and registered the NPO in February.

Ziqubu said the organisation was self-funded and they raised money by either contributing an amount from their salaries or from the profits made from selling vegetables.

He said the organisation was formed to help the poor in the community.

“I always had a dream of seeing my community members getting uplifted. In the homelands, you get segregated a lot if you are not actively involved in politics.

“So, because I had plenty of knowledge and experience in different facets, I got together with my friends, we identified a need and started working together to address it. I also drew encouragement from my mother, who is also very charitable,” said Ziqubu.

The eldest of five children, Ziqubu was raised by his mother and grandmother. Ziqubu’s father died while he was an infant.

Ziqubu attended Mbusowabathethwa High School and pursued a Diploma in Film and Script Writing, which he could not complete.

He and Msweli recently completed a 10-day walk around Zululand to raise funds for school shoes, sanitary pads, wheelchairs and toiletries for the needy.

“My vision for the future is to assist all the people that we encounter who need our help. We aim to grow beyond just Empangeni and to make a change in other districts, too,” he said.

Nokuphila Dlamini, 25, said she was assisted by the organisation with career guidance.

"They helped me a lot because I was sceptical about what I would study and how to go about registering for it. They are of great help to the community," she said.

Sunday Tribune