By Caitlin Bantom
Using her monthly lunch allowance, 11 year old Bonolo Moahludi opened a Soup Kitchen to feed disadvantaged children twice a week in her community of Alexander while also being the youngest news reader and programme co-host at Alex FM.
It was during lockdown last year when Moahludi discovered her passion for news reading. It all started when she wanted to eliminate her boredom by recording clips of herself. These clips ended up launching her journey in radio.
“I came across the news reading opportunity last year when I was doing clips for myself when I was bored during COVID and then my mom put it on Facebook thinking that it was actually funny. We looked at the comments and she said to me, ‘look how many comments you have.’ Most of the comments said I should take this to the next level and then she came across SAYD FM, an online radio station, which is currently YDFM,” Moahludi said.
Maohludi’s mother, Teboho Moahludi, said that after her daughter joined YDFM, for which she did clips and prayers, an opportunity opened up at Alex FM where she became the youngest news reader and co-host of their show called Bigger than Life.
“We actually wrote to Alex news, a local newspaper, and they interviewed her and then we got hold of the guy who works for Alex FM and another friend of mine who also introduced me to the station manager at Alex FM. She went there and they were glad to have her as the youngest, because most of the kids that are there, there’s a programme that’s called Bigger than life, they are from 18 upwards. She is the youngest at the radio station. She’s on the programme called Bigger than life where she’s a co-host and she reads the news. The programme normally runs on Saturdays because most of the time she is at school,” Mrs. Moahludi said.
Moahludi said that her reasons for wanting to become a news reader derived from her love for reading and she hopes to be the youngest news reader in the world.
“I love reading and I read to understand, not for the sake of reading. I want to be the first youngest news reader in the world,” she said.
The closure of feeding schemes during the COVID-19 pandemic and the affect that it had on many children who relied on the services of these feeding schemes motivated Moahludi to open up her own Soup Kitchen.
“Last year when I went to a feeding scheme with my friend, I saw that most kids were actually coming here to eat their last meal of the day because they were really hungry and you can see the looks on their faces that they’re very hungry. During COVID when schools were closed, obviously the feeding schemes that were operating and other ones were also closed. So I decided to open a soup kitchen for the disadvantaged,” Moahludi said.
Moahludi used her monthly allowance to start up her Soup Kitchen which, thanks to a recent donation, will be operating twice a week. “I’m using my lunch money for the month and I give out my soup every Tuesday but I have been given a big donation so I’m going to be doing it twice a week,” she said.
Mrs. Moahludi said that she was not surprised when her daughter proposed her Soup Kitchen idea. “I wasn’t shocked because Bonolo is a giving child, she loves sharing. I wasn’t surprised at all. She is a very very kind person; she’s got a big heart, that’s who she is,” she said.
After having reached out to companies for donations, the Moahludi’s received responses from both AGT Foods and Knorrox. Family and friends also joined in to provide the Soup Kitchen with the needed essentials.
“By the grace of god, we got a response from a company called AGT Foods. They sent us 25kg of split peas times 4. We got a response again from Knorrox and they delivered 30 boxes of soup of which we really appreciate it so much. It’s going to help. Her uncle is also going to donate bread. He promised to deliver bread, about 20 loaves, and his friend, who’s got a bakery, is also going to donate bread,” Moahludi said.
Moahludi’s goal is to expand her Soup Kitchen so that she is able to cater to all the children in the community on a daily basis. “I want to open a bigger soup kitchen for all the children in my community so that I can give them soup every day, not just once or twice a week,” she said.
Teboho and Bonolo Moahludi would like to thank everyone who has donated to the Soup Kitchen this far and if there are any members of the public who would want to make any form of donation towards Bonolo’s Soup Kitchen, please contact Teboho on 082 763 0092. Please be advised that the cell phone line is for Soup Kitchen related enquiries only