By Paul Mabote
Elcardo Chulu is an Activator from Upington in the Northern Cape who is passionate about developing and uplifting the people of his community. He is the founder of Masakhane Arts Centre, an organisation that recently took it upon itself to donate food parcels to less fortunate members of the community, affected by the Coronavirus lockdown.
Question: Why did you decide to get involved in the donation of food parcels and how did you manage to accomplish it?
Elcardo: “We saw the need to donate food to some of the less fortunate families who were unable to access the food parcels provided by government.” Chulu says that they decided to repurpose a portion of their organizational funds to finance the generous intervention.
Chulu and his fellow colleagues managed to identify and assist 30 families through their project, and Chulu says that in future they hope to be able to assist more, but that will obviously be informed by the availability of resources.
Elcardo and his fellow comrades have also started an online talk show.
“We titled our show #Covid19 #Lockdown talks with Mntaka Chuls. How it started was we picked up that there are many people who are uninformed in our community about what is happening in and around South Africa when it comes to Covid-19. We basically started the whole talk show to inform and educate our community about the dangers of the virus and how they can best protect themselves.” Elcardo says that the show began as an informal conversation on Facebook and the more people engaged, the more he realized the need to utilize the platform to disseminate useful information and spark more conversations.
Question: What are some of the topics you cover on your talk show?
Elcardo: Firstly, we discuss the latest Covid-19 statistics, we also cover safety measures like what to do when one is in quarantine, as well as what is safe and unsafe to do during the lockdown. Something that I have been privileged to do is to conduct an interview on our show with a guest who has fully recovered from the Covid-19 virus.
Elcardo says that they cover a broad range of topics on the show and they always try to invite and interview an expert or someone who has more knowledge on a given topic to make sure that they share legit, informed and reliable information with their audience.
Question: What is the general reaction and attitude of your audience and fellow community members to the Covid-19 pandemic?
Elcardo: A number of the people seem afraid and weary of the virus. Most, however, seem to look at the virus with indifference and they inaccurately believe that it is a foreign sickness which only infects a certain group of people. I am hoping that hearing interviews with people who have been directly affected by the sickness might change the beliefs and attitude of my fellow community members.
Chulu hopes to see his organization growing in size and credibility, and being able to reach and assist more people in and around his hometown of Upington. He hopes for his talk show to continue bringing useful facts to people who need them the most and for it to evolve into a trusted and reliable source of news and information in his community.