Ububele bids farewell to Jake

A tearful staff member bids farewell to Jake Matlhong [facing camera] at Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust.

Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust in Kew bid a tearful and emotional farewell to a long-serving staff member who went on retirement from 30 August.

Reverend Jake Matlhong (67) retired after 15 years in the organisation, serving the community of Alexandra through various psychosocial programmes that included early childhood development, and parent and infant support. This involved working with families, clinics, schools and NPOs.

“My time here was a rewarding opportunity that helped me to discover my passion and appreciation for humanity and its diversity,” Matlhong said.

A former teacher from the Vaal, Matlhong was recruited by founders of the trust, Tony and Hillary Hamburger when the organisation was in its formative years at the advent of democracy. Matlhong helped to build the organisation into a stable, well-profiled and integral part of the Alexandra community.

“It was when racial divisions still inhibited interracial collaboration, respect and trust of one another, and a time when the nation was struggling with severe, racially motivated violent turmoil that threatened our infant democracy,” said Matlhong.

He added that joining the organisation gave him the opportunity to reflect on the essence of racial diversity and morality which helped him to develop values of humaneness.

“I now have to leave this organisation which made me feel real and authentic about myself, and which polished my thinking and psychosocial skills for helping to improve relationships of Alexandrians through training and mentoring.”

Tony lauded Matlhong for bringing hope to the Alex community through his wise counsel to staff, mentoring, counselling services and psychosocial information dissemination.

“He brought integrity to the organisation and hopefully his passion will set a trend for our future in service to the Alex community,” said Tony.

Staff and board members tearfully thanked Matlhong for mentoring them selflessly, and his daughter Refilwe said the family were indebted to the organisation which let him share most of the organisation’s secrets with them.

Details: Ububele Educational and Psychotherapy Trust 011 786 5085.

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