From a Great Gatsby-themed auction, Port Elizabeth tailor and personal stylist Thando Nondlwana managed to raise almost R30,000 to buy school shoes for children around Mthatha and Lusikisiki.
Nondlwana said the idea to auction some of his best suits to buy 500 pairs of school shoes came after he travelled around the Transkei and saw children having to walk long distances to get to school.
The 34-year-old, who started his business, Thando Nondlwana Measured to the T, in 2015, held a “Night of Gatsby” event where he auctioned off three Italian and Scottish styled suits collectively valued at R30,000 on Saturday.
He said each year he tried to give back to the community, and in 2019 he decided to raise funds for school shoes.
“The main purpose of the auction is to be able to buy 500 pairs of school shoes for children from the rural areas.
“Every year we do different things,” he said.
“Auctioning my suits is a start, and from there I can buy all the needed school shoes.”
Nondlwana said he was touched by what he saw when he was travelling to Mthatha earlier in 2019.
“I went according to what I see – the villages that these kids come from, their situation at home and the fact that they have to walk a great distance to get to school.”
During his trip, Nondlwana said he identified five primary schools where 100 pupils from each school would get a pair of school shoes.
“I don’t know the kids personally so I got assistance to identify 100 pupils in each school who are in need.
“I chose this area not because there are no children in need in and around PE, but mainly because the children in the rural areas are worse off.
From the proceeds of the auction, Nondlwana said he would be able to buy 110 pairs of school shoes, but he was expecting more donations to trickle in.
“While some people did not bid, they did pledge to buy or contribute towards buying the school shoes.
“There are other guests who were invited who were unable to attend the event, but have indicated that they would be pledging.”
Nondlwana said he would follow up on all the pledges to see how much he still needs.