This Friday, the 12th of May 2017, had caught the cleaners of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) with a darling, rare surprise — a historic surprise. After working for half a day, a spa foot massage and new shoes were waiting for them, for being mothers.
“This comes from our genuine hearts,” says Noxolo Miya, a Community Development Officer for the EFFSC at UJ-APK, whose mother lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal. She, therefore, wanted to do something special for a person who is a mother since Sunday (14th of May 2017) would be Mothers’ Day.
“I [asked myself] what I am going to do on this special good day because usually, I would be doing something for her [Miya’s mother], so I decided that let me pamper someone’s mother. And then a few minutes later I was thinking that we always say we are in solidarity with the female workers at UJ, so let’s do something for them. Let’s give them foot Spa massage,” says Miya.
Miya consulted her party, and the chairman of EFFSC, Zwelakhe Mahlamvu, was excited about this initiative and they began donating money amongst themselves to buy the necessary prerequisites.
Miya and her political party did not want to put the workers in a dilemma; therefore, the hygienic workers were requested to attend the event during their lunchtime to get a complimentary card, mug with sweets, shoes and a Spa foot massage because “most of the time they are standing”.
This event charmed the workers to a culmination point of having to reminisce the bygones memories of their teenage-hood.
“They appreciated it with so much love. As I was washing one of them, she said this had been done to her when she was a teenager, when being charmed by her boyfriend. They were so excited: you could see the excitement on their face,” Miya says. “We would love to do this every year . . . the message we wanted to send is that we love them, we appreciate them, we appreciate the work they do.”
Meanwhile, an awe and jubilation caught the cleaners, they began to sing appreciation songs, thinking, and showing their content for what the EFFSC has done for them.
“They bathed our feet and we even said, ‘oh yea, truly, giving birth has indeed sweet fruits.’ We are so happy and we are very thankful. What really excited me was the fact of being bathed my feet smoothly and with tenderness,” says Grace Sello, a 55-year-old UJ cleaner.