The Manenberg-Book

Dominic Patrick MacClune
Jeremy Ontong
Kesia Matthews
  • Dominic Patrick MacClune
  • Jeremy Ontong
  • Kesia Matthews
  • Dominic Patrick MacClune

    Der Garten öffnet den Geist. Da ist Frieden. Dominic ist in Heathfield aufgewachsen, aber “dummerweise” auf der falschen Seite der Eisenbahnlinie, denn das Apartheid- Regime hatte die Eisenbahn als Grenze zwischen den Weißen und den Farbigen in diesem Stadtteil ausgewählt.

    My garden opens people’s minds. There is peace. Dominic grew up in Heathfield, but – to the disadvantage of his family - on the wrong side of the railway, because the Apartheid regime had chosen the railway line as the divide between the Whites and the Coloureds in that area.

  • Jeremy Ontong

    Radfahren liegt einem im Blut - denke ich. Ich meine die Leidenschaft dafür“ sagt Jeremy, der Konrektor der Phoenix High School. „Mein Daddy hat uns mit seinem Rad überall hin mitgenommen, meine Schwester saß vorn und mein Bruder und ich hinten und unser Hund wurde noch an der Leine mitgeführt. Ich habe immer gejammert, wenn mein Vater mit seinem Rad los fuhr und ich nicht mit durfte!“

    „Cycling - I think - it’s in the genes. I mean the passion of it“, says Jeremy, the deputy principal of Phoenix High School. „My daddy took us everywhere with his bike, one child in front – my sister – and my brother and I on the back, plus the dog on the leash. I used to cry, when my dad left the house on his bike without me!“

  • Kesia Matthews

    „Ich liebe meinen Sport, und daher werde ich Herausragendes leisten." Als ich am 6. Juli 2015 auf die Titelseite der Cape Times schaute, sah ich zwei junge Fechter auf dem halbseitigen Titelbild, die sich in den Straßen von Manenberg duellierten. Sie warben damit für die Commonwealth Fecht-Meisterschaften der Junioren und Kadetten, die einige Tage später an der Universität von Kapstadt begannen. Einer dieser beiden Fechter auf der Titelseite war in Wahrheit eine junge, 15-jährige Fechterin aus Manenberg, Kesia Matthews. 

    „I love my sport, and as a result, I will excel." When I looked at the front page of the Cape Times on July 6, 2015 two young fencers caught my eyes. They were fencing in the streets of Manenberg to promote the forthcoming Commonwealth Fencing Junior and Cadet Championships at the Cape Town University a few days later. One of them was the 15-year old Kesia Matthews.

  • Dominic Patrick MacClune
  • Jeremy Ontong
  • Kesia Matthews

In 2013 and 2014 I was volunteering permanently for NGO Selfhelp Manenberg. The reactions of the people, who had never been to such a stigmatized suburb and think all inhabitants there are gangsters or friends of gangsters, were extreme:

“You go there every day? And you are still alive?”

“You come from paradise (they meant Germany) and go to Manenberg? You must be crazy!”  “You must be very brave! We would never ever go there!”

I always tried to explain that the people in Manenberg are just like you and me! There is nothing wrong with most of them, it is just a small proportion which is organized in gangs and unfortunately they are strong and violent and all inhabitants of Manenberg are affected by their violence and have to get along with it.

Manenberg definitely needs to change, but only the people from Manenberg themselves can change their community.

It is my intention to help them, as far as I – being a German – can do that. So, during my voluntary work at Selfhelp Manenberg I started to collect and tell success stories of people from Manenberg, hoping that this will help others to gain more self-esteem.

“You can make it, you can be successful in life, even in spite of the fact that you are from Manenberg!”

Most of the people featured in this book I knew already because of my work, but only after I had officially declared that I would put success-stories all together in a book, people came along and told me:

“You know this lady, don´t you, she is amazing!”

“Didn´t you work together with this man, his story is awesome!”

So the Manenberg people themselves lead my way through my book. And I am sure that there are many more stories, but of course I could only tell a few in the book.

I hope all theses amazing people with their very personal stories will motivate all of you who read this book. Live your dreams and believe that nothing is impossible!

 

 

 


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