18 March 2016

Zimbabwean village boy needs your help

A Zimbabwean boy came to South Africa for a better future, but with a permanent spinal cord injury he is unable to escape his 'miserable life'.


A simple boy hailing from the Macala Village in Zimbabwe’s Nkayi District, with aspirations of a relatively prosperous future, Innocent Nyathi came to South Africa in search of a “better life". Born in 1992, he attended Somakandani Primary School until Grade 7, when he had to discontinue his education due to financial constraints.

Permanent spinal cord injury

At the age of 20, he arrived in South Africa in search of work, hoping to relieve the financial woes that his family faced. His first job in South Africa was a handyman, after which he became permanently employed as a general worker in the construction industry.

However, in November 2014, he suffered a permanent spinal cord injury from a workplace accident. He was diagnosed with L1 paraplegia, with minimal active contractions in his hip extensor and knee flexor muscles. Today, Innocent is unable to walk, and completely dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility. 

He says: “Above everything else, my worst problem is that the miserable life I sought to escape has now caught up with me. I have become non-productive and cannot fend for myself anymore.”

In order for Innocent to be fully reintegrated into his home and community environment, he needs the following equipment:

• A custom-made lightweight rigid frame 14” wheelchair with a tension adjustable backrest.
• An all-terrain wheelchair (with three wheels) in order to navigate through sandy and uneven rural terrain.
• A transfer board to undertake safe and independent transfers.
• An Axtra foam cushion in the event that the main cushion gets soiled.
• Telescopic ramps to improve accessibility into his home.

Though currently admitted at Netcare Rehabilitation Hospital, Innocent is literally dependent on the hospital for his life, and yearns for the day when he can return to his parents and family in Zimbabwe.


Image: This is Innocent in the middle and Gregg (the cyclist) on the left.

The mission

Greg Schuurman will take part in this year’s Old Mutual Joberg MTB Stage Race (JB2C) – a gruelling 900km, 9-day cycle race that takes place between the 22 and 30 April 2016. This will be Greg’s second JB2C charity ride, and this year, he will be riding exclusively for the Homeward Bound fund raising campaign – a challenge centred on Innocent’s desperate plight, and his aim to return home and live his life to its fullest.

The goal

The aim is to raise a minimum of R90 000, which will be placed in a trust and allocated as and when it is required for the needs of Innocent Nyathi. And more specifically, to buy him a wheelchair to ensure his mobility and to claim back his independence.

A minimum donation of R100 per kilometre is required to reach this goal. You can choose to sponsor a kilometre or an entire day of cycling, and that part of Greg’s journey will be dedicated to you.

In addition, there will be a raffle where you can stand a chance of winning a deluxe Miele CM6310 freestanding coffee machine worth R25 000. Raffle tickets will be sold for R250 each.

The Miele CM6310 freestanding coffee machine is a coffee connoisseur’s dream machine – a veritable digital home barista that oversees the entire coffee drink production from start to finish – from grinding fresh beans to using the specific amount of pressure and water for your desired beverage, and even topping a cappuccino with perfectly frothed steamed milk, all at the touch of a single button.

It can make everything from a simple cup of coffee or perfect espresso (single or double), to a parfait-like multi-layered café latte, cappuccino or latte macchiato. After each coffee-making session it cleans itself, running hot water through its pipes and nozzles for the ultimate in coffee-making convenience.

Please forward this to a friend and help Greg Schuurman, reach his goal for Innocent Nyathi. 
Please e-mail confirmation to on how many kilometres you would like to sponsor, and how many raffle tickets you will be purchasing.

Payments can be made to:
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Randburg                           
Branch code: 018005
Account number: 021649375
Reference: 239343 entrants name (e.g. 239343 Liam Gawne)

For more information, you can contact Greg Schuurman directly by emailing him on

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Syrian surgeon on fear, fatigue and multitasking

No more long, cold nights for travelling patients

Man struggles for almost 10 years to get a disability grant

Image: Supplied 


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