Marjorie Manganye (1931 - )
The Order of the Baobab in
Profile of Majorie Manganye
Marjorie Manganye was born in 1931 in the then Western Native township, near Johannesburg. She attended St Thomas Primary School in Kensington before enrolling at Our Ladies College in the then Pietersburg for an industrial course. She worked as a private teacher at Witkoppen School in Johannesburg and tuberculosis information officer in Alexandra, she has devoted much of her lifetime to the plight of the poor, the elderly and neglected people in this township.
In 1978, she started a project with a group of concerned women to assist the aged and the needy in Alexandra.
In 1984, Itlhokomeleng (Help Yourselves) was duly registered as a welfare organization. In 1988, the Sandton Rotary Club and Anglo-American jointly brought some land and erected temporary houses for the aged, following some major additions in 1992, the project now has a permanent home and bears the Marjorie Manganye Frail-Care Centre.
Manganye now cares for scores of elderly people, although she herself is older than some of them. Most of the people living in the Frail-Care Centre were among the first Africans to own land in Alexandra. Their extended families were left behind in the rural areas, and now they do not have anyone to take care of them in their old age.
The centre has an arts and crafts project that produces items for sale, and an outreach project that visits members of the Alexandra community who are ill or in need of assistance.
Mama Marj, as Manganye is affectionately called, has been caring for the Alexandra community for over four decades, her age-defying energy and caring attitude endearing her to thousands of Alexandra residents.