The silent philanthropist

Kabelo Dipholo
RESTORED DIGNITY: Mabuse on his new wheelchair

A life of giving back

In an around Tonota, he’s known as a kind-hearted giant who has for many years sacrificed his personal wealth to help the less fortunate.

Now retired, and of advanced age, Godfree Mathumo’s philanthropy burns as bright as ever

The 56-year-old continues knocking on doors, using his influence for the benefit of the poor and the marginalised members of the community.

He sees it as his Christian duty.

“I’m a Christian, and I can’t bear to see another human being suffer and do nothing,” the Tonota West native explains in an interview with The Voice on Tuesday.

His record as a giver goes back to the early 90s and his days as a government employee in Letlhakane, where he headed the Department of Animal Production.

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One of his many notable contributions includes building a poultry house for a person living with disability in the diamond town.

“I approached Debswana about the plight of the woman, and following their own assessments they came to her rescue,” he reveals, the memory still causing him to smile all these years later.

Mathumo said the mining giant’s forked out P20, 000 towards the project, with the mine personnel also lending a hand to erect the structure.

“One doesn’t have to have huge amounts of money to give. It must come from the heart. We’ve to give to the less privileged to better their lives,” he declares.

Convinced that the more one gives, the more they receive, it was in this spirit that Mathumo assisted Lephane Village Development Committee (VDC) to construct shelter for a disabled person in the ward.

Some of his many projects include assisting churches to build structures and donating wheelchairs to many disabled persons.

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He took his giving spirit to new levels during the years of Covid-19, when he was at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic, donating toiletries and sanitisers to VDCs in Tonota.

“Giving is a spur of the moment thing. Usually you don’t think about it until someone says to you, remember you did this,” he notes.

One of the beneficiaries of Mabutho’s generosity is Keletile Mabuse, a man who could not walk and was fated to spend the rest of his days on his back until Mabutho intervened.

“When I first saw him, I was moved to tears. I had to do something quickly to restore the man’s dignity,” he said.

Mathumo made a few calls, and Mmabuse finally received a wheelchair that eased his life.

“When the spirit moves you, something has to happen. I believe I saw that man for a reason, and that his wheelchair has always been waiting for him,” he said.

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The softly-spoken man told The Voice that for as long as he’s still breathing, he’ll continue to give and help the poor.

The silent philanthropist

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