FOLLOWING his 540km walk from Johannesburg to Durban in an effort to raise funds for his charity Feed A Child, Feed A Nation, Thulani “DJ Dash” Mzinyane said he was disappointed that donations had not met his expectations. To add on his woes Mzinyane, who managed to raise R150, was mugged when he arrived in Durban. The 540km walk began on 22 May and it took Mzinyane 20 days to complete.
“There are too many children suffering in our country and too few people are doing something about it. I believe that if we come together, we can make a huge change. Donations have been coming in really slow and I would like for more people and companies to donate and get involved. After I reached Pinetown, I decided to visit mys brother in Durban North and was on my way there, at about 5am, when I was mugged near the Early Morning Market in the city centre by two men, one of whom had a knife. The men took my camping bag which contained my phone, money, bank cards and clothes, “said Mzinyane.
“I chose not to have an escort when I started with this walk because it was going to cost me a lot of money. According to my calculations it would have cost over R30 000, which included accommodation and meals. Walking is fun for me and I am trying to do something positive. Despite everything I would do it all over again, so that I can raise awareness for my charity,” he said.
The long journey also saw Mzinyane coming across a dead cheetah and encountering a snake which nearly bit him. It was not until he was walking through Dannhauser, heading for Ladysmith that the Joburg-based DJ was stopped by the police, who warned him about walking on the freeway.
“I kept dodging big trucks on that road. It was scary, but that is just how it is; some roads are not designed for walkers. I had to take breaks along the way at Vosloorus, Balfour, Standerton, Vrede, Newcastle, Dannhauser, Ladysmith, Colenso, Estcourt, Mooi River and Pietermaritzburg,” he said.
The charity was founded in 2012 and so far Mzinyane and donors have donated food to more than 20 schools in KZN and Gauteng. He says his aim is to raise funds to build a school for needy children in Eshowe and continue with his school feeding scheme.
“I have always loved helping people and I can’t watch kids suffer, hence I started Feed A Child Feed A Nation. We accept both money and foodstuff like beans, sugar, soup, maize meal and tea bags.I plan to embark on another walk, this time from Joburg to Cape Town, before the end of the year,” he said.
Mzinyane also organizes social events around Durban where artists perform for free and the money made from those events is used to buy food parcels which are donated to schools around KZN. In 2012 the DJ walked from Ballito to Durban and last year he walked from Richards Bay to Durban.
“We aim to feed over 20 000 kids around the country. With the guidance of teachers we identify school children who are poor and do not even know when they will get their next meal. We also ran a national campaign to collect blankets and toiletries which we donated to street kids around Cleremont and Pietermaritzburg,” said Mzinyane.
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