Shanaaz Allie, The Mother Theresa of Mitchells Plain by Jonathan Woolley

Shanaaz Allie is well known in the community as the Mother Theresa of Mitchells Plain and is the founder of Mosadie Gives Back.

Before lock-down, she worked six days a week and fed the children on the seventh day using R8,000.00 a month from the profits of her hair salon which is now closed. She has no other income and is not able to continue feeding the community without financial help.

As a resident of Tafelsig for 25 years, she has witnessed poverty, rape, murder and gang violence, but it is the hunger that keeps her up at night. It reminds her of her own youth, growing up on the street and hungry. The children she feeds are as young as two years old and come from homes of abuse, neglect and/or extreme poverty. She made a promise to herself at a young age to help feed the hungry when she had the means.

She is a remarkable warrior, and through her belief in G-d, hard work and determination she became a qualified hairdresser in her late teens. Thirty years later overcoming many obstacles she was able to open Mosadie Hair, a hair salon in Sea Point, Cape Town (which is now closed.)

She employs five full-time staff from her community and continues to struggle to keep afloat. She lives a humble life, she has no car, she takes public transport, and she supports her entire family.

Mosadie Gives Back plays an integral role in the Mitchells Plain community. It simply cannot stop feeding the children it has been supporting for the past two years. To do so would have a disastrous impact on their lives! Sadly, the lockdown has exacerbated the situation and hunger is now a daily battle. For many, their school, which is closed due to lockdown, was their only access to at one square meal a day provided by the government-subsidised National School Nutrition Programme.

Lockdown also means that for many parents who are not deemed essential workers, the no-work, no-pay principle applies. I have collected +R150 000.00 over this period, besides the thousands of tins and staple need foods. We feed 500 children on a Monday and Friday at a cost of R7000.00 per week. We hand out 250 hampers to families and the elderly at a cost of R100.00 per hamper on a Wednesday. This is besides the work we do on special events day, like Easter Monday, Human Rights Day and Freedom Day.

Regarding government funding, we have been in contact with a ward Councillor for assistance. However, they are dire need of funds and donations as they cannot feed the residents of Khayelitsha who are part of their ward. They reached out to us for help! We have also contacted Dan Plato, the Mayor of Cape Town for assistance, but all to no avail.

Unfortunately, the government cannot cope with feeding the needy. They relying more and more on NPO’S. Our endless requests to use the Swartklips Sports Arena as a kitchen, sporting and social events venue has fallen on deaf ears. It is a state of the art arena that has been closed for five years. The hall can at least be used for the children to wait for their food, especially as winter is coming. It is a stone’s throw from Shanaaz Allie’s home from which she feeds the kids. Her home is so under-equipped, yet she somehow manages to do it.

We raise funds through a dedicated group of Volunteers. They engage through social media. Funds go into the Mosadie Gives Back account. Food donations are collected by the Volunteers and driven through to Mitchells Plain. The vital work done to date would not have been possible without the generous donations of food so gratefully received from the public and, of course, the help of our volunteers. These selfless volunteers include Jonathan Woolley, Marina Nestel, Melissa Tal, Amanda De Waal, Faranaaz Isaacs and Kim Prissman. These volunteers work 24/7 for no personal gain.

The Mitchells Plain community are involved. There are a group of 14 Marshalls that assist with social distancing, help cook and hand out the food.

If anyone wants to help they can donate tinned foods, grains, personal hygiene products, rice, oil, sugar, tea, peanut butter, jam, long-life milk, flour, salt, clothes and blankets. We need more awareness for this community. Message Mosadie Gives Back urgently requires on-going assistance so that we can continue to provide food for these vulnerable children, and be able to do so on a daily basis. MGB is able to distribute food parcels to needy families and cooked meals for the community, with a valid permit and the help of both the Red Cross and the South African Police.

As COVID-19 deepens inequality so the inequality worsens its spread with devastating economic consequences. These consequences are having a devastating effect on families and children in need. Our Aim – To Fight Hunger Together.

Together, we can make a difference in the life of a hungry person by donating or raising funds for the vital charities of Mosadie Gives Back.







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