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A disabled Orange Farm man, who keeps the plight of the disabled in the City’s spotlight, was visited for a surprise birthday gathering.
COLLEN CHAUKE, a resident of Orange Farm, broke into tears of delight when the City showered him with birthday gifts on Friday, 2 March.

MMC Dan Bovu Collen Chauke couldn't hold back his emotions Chauke, whose disabilities make work difficult, if not impossible, turned 27. He is well known for his regular attendance of City meetings. At each meeting, he makes a point of reminding the City about the plight of disabled people.

He had no idea about the surprise that the City had organised for him, and was startled to see the member of the mayoral committee for housing, Daniel Bovu, and other officials arrive at his home that afternoon.

Their ranks swelled by curious neighbours, they entered Chauke’s home where they sang happy birthday. The birthday guy could not hold back his emotions. He cried and repeatedly thanked the City for remembering him.

“Thank you everyone. May god bless you all. I don’t know what I would have done without your support,” he said. Chauke was given a box of groceries, clothes and a portrait of himself and the City’s mayor, Parks Tau.

During the celebrations, Bovu vowed to help Chauke and his family. “It’s a special day for you. May you see many years to come,” said Bovu, who cut a slice of cake for Chauke to eat.

Simon Motha, the Ward 4 councillor, said he would ensure that one of Chauke’s siblings was employed in a local project to help sustain the family. He has two sisters and three brothers and the family struggles to make ends meet as none of them are employed.

Thuli Nompondo, Chauke’s sister-in-law, thanked the City for the presents and for making time to visit him. “We are so happy for him and wish that the mayor can help him access his grants that were stopped without reason several months ago,” she said.

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