Despite his busy schedule as a teacher and responsible family man, senior traditional leader Chief Thinawanga Mmbangiseni Randima of Khubvi village outside Thohoyandou dedicates much of his time to community development.
Randima, who is loved and hailed by almost all his subjects, has played a major role in the development of his village since he took over from his late father, Mujiva Randima in 1988.
Leading from the front
After building an office block and a community hall where he renders his services to his subjects, Randima is credited is one of the local traditional leaders who has transformed this type of leadership into a professional trade.
"Although we regularly hold community meetings at Musanda ( the chief's kraal), I thought it was a wise idea to have an office where all community initiatives will be run. Old people and people with a disability find it very difficult to come to Musanda because it is mountainous and rocky. I decided to shorten this long haul by servicing my people at their doorsteps because the offices and the community hall are next to the main road and they are accessible to everyone," said the wise chief in his office after knocking off from his daily work as a teacher.
Randima said the highlight of his reign was when he successfully assisted his subjects to lodge a land claim which paid out R2,5 million compensation in 2012.
"There is nothing more fulfilling than putting a smile on someone's face. Every day, I strive to make sure that my people get the best life they deserve. The land claim compensation played a major role in the improvement of people's lives as some of them have built houses, educated their children and started businesses.
I'm happy because my village continues to be one of the major economic growth points within the Thulamela municipal area," he explained.
Encouraging the youth
The chief encouraged his subjects, especially the youth, to take education seriously.
"Despite the fact that I was born with royal blood, I considered it very important to take education seriously. An educated leader understands the community challenges and it becomes easier to address those challenges," he said.
Randima has recently initiated a computer literacy school to equip his subjects with computer skills.
He has also initiated community projects like a children's care centre and an old age centre. He has supported sports development, assisted with food and clothing donations, cultural preservation and health care activities.
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