PRETORIA – SUNDAY, 23RD OCTOBER, 2016 – ZAMBIANS resident in South Africa have raised over 1, 000 blankets which they will donate to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Children’s Ward.
And Zambians from different parts of Gauteng Province in South Africa, today held mass to thank God as the country commemorates its independence anniversary which falls tomorrow. The service, held at the Cathedral of the Christ King in central Johannesburg, was graced by Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba; his wife, Mrs. Monde Mwamba and Zambia’s Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Ms. Philomena Kachesa. Diplomats from the High Commission and their spouses also attended. Others were Zambia Association in South Africa (ZASA) president, Mr. Ferdinand Simanya and Patriotic Front – South Africa branch chairman, Mr. Sydney Njamba.
The Independence Prayer Service was presided over by Parish Priest Father Thabo Motshegoa, Father Harrison Mulenga and Deacon Louis Khumalo. The mass was also attended by nationals from Malawi, Nigeria and South Africa.
Father Motshegoa congratulated Zambians for upholding unity and political stability over the last 52 years on independence. He prayed for President Edgar Lungu and the entire Government so that they could be blessed with humility.
In his Homily, Father Motshegoa bemoaned the fact that people had become comfortable even when they were engaging in sinful activities. He said it was shameful that man no longer challenged those things that took him farther away from God.
“We live in a society where we are comfortable with sin. We are no different from those men who walked past a man who was in need of help in that story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. Even when we ask God for forgiveness, there is no remorse in us because of pride,” Father Motshegoa said.
He said people should learn from the story of the tax collector in the Bible in which Zacchaeus genuinely gave up his old ways and turned to God.
His Excellency Mr. Mwamba thanked the church for according the Zambian community an opportunity to celebrate independence mass every year. He also thanked other nationals for joining in to celebrate independence with Zambia.
Mr. Mwamba charmed the congregation when he pledged 5, 000 rand and led the church in raising money for the procurement of a public address system for the Parish. Over 32, 000 rand in cash and pledges was raised soon after a member of the church, at the end of the service, went to the front and bemoaned the challenges the Cathedral of the Christ King was facing.
After the church service, Mr. Mwamba met the Zambian community during which he called for unity particularly that they were living in a foreign land. He commended the Zambian Catholic Community and ZASA for their efforts in bringing together Zambians across South Africa.
Mr. Mwamba said Zambians should always look out for one another and interact and not just wait for occasions such as independence before they could get together.
On Saturday, several hundreds of Zambians across Johannesburg and surrounding areas converged on Edenvale Sports Complex for the 52nd Independence and Family Day organised by the High Commission in collaboration with ZASA.
The Zambians used the occasion to present to the High Commissioner the brand new blankets which ZASA had gathered through its various branches across South Africa.
Receiving the blankets, Mr. Mwamba thanked ZASA for the initiative pointing out that this stood as good testimony of how best to break the mindset that a lot of people had that government should do everything for them.
“Zambians in South Africa have demonstrated that individuals can make a difference through individual contributions. This is how it should be. Let’s all, in our own small ways, supplement government efforts,” Mr. Mwamba said.
And Simanya said ZASA took up the initiative because Zambians in South Africa realised that there was need to contribute to raising the standards of health facilities in Zambia so that patients, particularly children, could be treated in better conditions.
ZASA is working with the High Commission so that the blankets could be handed over to UTH some time in December this year.
The Family Day, which was officiated by Mr. and Mrs. Mwamba, Ms. Kachesa and diplomatic staff from the Zambian High Commission, saw various social teams from Gauteng, participate in games such as soccer, netball and children’s racing. High Commission staff competed in tug of war with members of the ZASA executive committee.
The Mize Dance Troup, who travelled from Zambia, also provided some of the entertainment.
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