Describing her as passionate and loving, family and friends of murdered teacher Jayde Panayiotou gathered to continue her legacy of giving back on Heritage – or “National Braai” – Day at the weekend.
They met on Saturday at Jeanny’s Soup Kitchen in Malabar Extension 6 where Jayde spent time with the children every Friday afternoon for almost two years.
As part of their efforts to honour her memory, family and friends handed out boerewors rolls and goodie bags to about 350 children from the area.
Friend Debbie Godfrey, 40, of Sherwood, said: “I used to do this with Jayde every Friday afternoon . . . I am absolutely overwhelmed to see how her friends and family have opened their hearts to the cause today. It is testament to the type of person she was.”
Showing their gratitude, the smiling children entertained the visitors with two songs, led by soup kitchen chairwoman Jeanny Edwards.
“Jayde was a loving woman with a humble, gentle spirit who attracted so many to her,” Edwards, 57, said.
“And though this is a celebration of her life and memory, these children, who grew to love her, are also suffering without her.”
“We are very grateful for the support of her family and friends . . . on this special day. We also honour God for bringing her into our lives and for the impact she has left on our children.”
Delighted to have received a special treat, Velencia Rooi, 13, of Malabar Extension 6, said: “These people have made our hearts very happy today by treating us to something special. I know this means a lot for many children in our community and for that I am very thankful.”
Jayde’s younger sister, Toni Inggs, 27, who along with her parents Michelle and Derick Inggs, handed out the food to the children, said: “Jayde was passionate about giving back to these children and I think this gives them hope – something that we believe in, and to be able to give it to others who need it more, is something amazing.”
The murder trial in which businessman Christopher Panayiotou is accused of ordering a hit on his wife – who was murdered in April last year – begins on October 11.