Party Shop Owner Receives R25k Pledge After Her Dream Was Crushed by Looters

Party Shop Owner Receives R25k Pledge After Her Dream Was Crushed by Looters

  • A shop owner in Soweto has received much-needed aid following the losses sustained to her business in the recent looting and violence
  • OneSpark, which is a South African financial services company, pledged R25 000 to assist Thandi Johnson to pick up the pieces
  • Johnson started her small business in 2009 to brighten the community of Soweto by selling decorations for birthday parties and weddings, among other things

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A small business owner in Soweto, like many others, bore the brunt of the wave of the unrest and violence that swept through the southwestern township three weeks ago.

Thandi Johnson, who before those events was an enterprising female sole proprietor who worked to put a smile on the faces of those who walked into her store, unwittingly found herself targeted when her store was destroyed.

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Party Shop, Business, Owner, Pledge, Looters, Soweto, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Unrest, Sihle Zikalala, Premier, OneSpark
A shop owner in Soweto has received much-needed aid following the losses sustained to her business in the recent looting and violence. OJ Koloti, Papi Morake/ Gallo Images, Luca Sola/ AFP.
Source: Getty Images

The looting, which likely lasted only a few minutes inside the store, rendered Johnson's shop completely destroyed, leaving her to pick up the fragments.

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OneSpark, which is a South African financial services company, has decided to step in and assist Johnson after seeing the scale of the damage her business sustained.

In a post published on its Instagram page, the company pledged to assist Johnson by donating an amount of R25 000. The post read:

"Thandi Johnson, a leader, an entrepreneur, a community hero. She started her small business in 2009 to brighten the community of Soweto by selling decorations for birthday parties and weddings, amongst many other things," OneSpark said in a post published on its |Instagram account.
"It took Thandi 12 years of blood, sweat, and tears to build her business from the ground up. It took only one day to destroy it all. We’re in this together, and South Africa’s Ubuntu spirit shines bright.

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"Our hearts were broken when we heard her story. Entrepreneurs like her are the lifeblood of our economy. It’s time we get her back on her feet and let her shine. We’ve pledged R25 000 to help. We rise by lifting others. We rise together."

Watch a video of the pledge here.

In another recent post, the insurance business said it managed to extend a helping hand to 30 000 people and more in the aftermath of the unrest in parts of KwaZulu-Natal.

The provincial government in KZN has since declared a state of disaster owing to the massive scale of losses to the private sector and the damage caused to public infrastructure. Premier Sihle Zikalala confirmed the decision on Thursday.

A video post by OneSpark on Instagram read in part:

"Our truck filled with tonnes of meat and wheat arrived in KZN on Sunday, and our friends helped distribute it to those in need of a helping hand."

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Kolisi Foundation extends help, Provides relief to protest-stricken communities

In a recently published story, Briefly News reported that the Kolisi Foundation embarked on providing relief support to communities in Gauteng and KZN following the turmoil brought on by days of unrest.

Led by Springboks skipper Siya Kolisi and his wife Rachel, the foundation joined up with charities to help those most affected by the recent unrest, according to a TimesLIVE report.

In a statement on its official Instagram account, the foundation said:

“We have begun working with several non-profit organisations on the ground and are putting together a strategy to get food to people in the hardest-hit areas.
"We are working with a network of organisations in KwaZulu-Natal focusing on gender-based violence shelters, children’s homes, old age homes, hospices and assisted-living facilities."

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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