This chief has a (nik) knack for helping kids

Ndivhudzannyi “Chief” Maanda (right) with Ludwe Mpolokeng who says he has Maanda to thank for finding him a job Picture: Tremaine Van Aardt
Ndivhudzannyi “Chief” Maanda (right) with Ludwe Mpolokeng who says he has Maanda to thank for finding him a job
Picture: Tremaine Van Aardt

A simple sale of NikNaks snacks nine months ago, nurtured by a spirit of generosity and a passion for people, has seen a Motherwell resident feed, educate and create employment for needy families.

While his colleagues enjoy their down time between work at Discovery Health in Coega, Ndivhudzannyi “Chief” Maanda, 23, straps on his portable tuck shop and starts what he calls “the Wright movement” selling everything from chips and chocolate to headache tablets to raise funds.

He said the name was derived from the Wright brothers – the pioneers of aviation – as he believed the idea “has the ability to take flight”.

Maanda started raising money to buy a soccer ball for children in his community after watching a group playing with a ball made of plastic.

The sense of fulfilment he felt encouraged him to take a huge box of snacks to work every day to sell.

“I believe in giving and sharing the little we have, but giving where it is necessary. My main target is children.

“I support five families with food and tutor the children – and where I can help, I do,” he said.

“For example, some people needed me to fix up their CVs and so on.

“That paid off because when I call the schools, the pupils’ grades are improving and three adults found jobs.”

Maanda moved to Motherwell two years ago, from the small Limpopo village of Tshakhuma, and soon found employment as a service consultant.

He said his colleagues were his biggest supporters.

“After I saw these children playing soccer with plastic refuse, I told myself this wasn’t right,” Maanda said.

“The next day, I asked colleagues if I sold NikNaks would they buy them and they said, yes.

“It has grown since then.” Maanda has since bought several soccer balls and equipment for children in the community and hosted a “mini-splash festival” over the Easter weekend where children were treated to hot dogs, jumping castles, slippery slides and more than 300 toys.

“Discovery and its employees always help with sponsorships and donations,” he said.

“We also try to have birthday parties for kids in the area.”

Motherwell resident Ludwe Mpolokeng, 35, who has been working for almost two months for a contracted cleaning company at Discovery, said he had Maanda to thank.

“Chief sorted out my CV and got me this job. I tried to find work for months, but it is because of him I can take something home to feed my house every month.”

Maanda was recently awarded the Discovery Health CEO Award, which recognises selfless and caring employees.

He said his next goal was to open “The Wright Shop” selling school clothing before schools opened next year.

Maanda recently started Instagram and Facebook pages inviting others to join him in helping the community.

His pages can be found on Ins tag ram@ The Wright movement 01 and Facebook@ The Wright movement 01.

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