Young writer from Dan Village chooses ambition over adversity

Young writer from Dan Village chooses ambition over adversity

“Words written down never perish,” are the words that stuck in Nhlanyiso Shiviri’s head and inspired him to become an author. His uncle, who took over a fatherly role in his life after his father’s death, uttered those words to him and he has never looked back since.

The 26-year-old author is from Dan Village in Limpopo. His father died when he was four years old and was raised by his grandmother, Martha Modjadji Mhlongo, mother and uncles.

 Life had its hardships but, he says, he chose ambition over adversity. He loved public speaking since he was young and was part of a debate team in high school.

He describes himself as “not a typical writer with the writers’ look.” All he needs, he says, is his diary, colourful pens and a phone to jot a few notes/ideas anytime of the day when they spring to mind. He then types everything on his laptop days later.

Shiviri says young people justifying their wrong actions as a mistake sparked the interest in him to find out more about the meaning of the word. To find an answer to the nagging question in his mind– he turned to the Bible for answers and read the first three books of Genesis.

Post the reading and lot of prayer – the title What is A Mistake? was born and the writing started. After he had written about 27 pages of the book, he met his mentor Moffat Sebola – a fellow author, academic, member of the Students Christian Organisation and lecturer at the University of Limpopo during a service in 2017. Shiviri says he admired Sebola’s character and his principles and he knew that he should be close to the man.

“I approached him and we started working and praying together, he helped me with the thinking process and structuring of all the parts of the book … when the book was published earlier in the year boosted of 22 chapters with 190 pages.”

What is A Mistake? was published early in 2020 and Shiviri says he is currently working on his second publication titled The Rejected Boy. He plans publishing it in 2021.

“The hardest part of being a writer is once you start (writing) – it is hard to stop,” Shiviri says.

He has big dreams for his village and its people. “I proudly call myself a Bokoharamian with a good heart, wishing to remove the reputation of crime attached to my village someday for good,” he says.

Boko Haram gangsters terrorised Dan Village residents for several years. Things improved when some of the gang members were convicted for various crimes in 2018. There were concerns of a resurgence of the violence recently, but there has been no police confirmation regarding the claims.

 Shiviri wishes to run a first shopping mall for his village to create employment for the locals.

“It does not matter where I go or what I achieve in life part of me will always be a part of Dan Village. I want to be the first youngest highly qualified professor from Dan Village before I turn 35.”

 Shiviri currently holds an honours degree in Psychology from University of Limpopo, Makweng.

Quick facts about Nhlanyiso Shiviri:

  • Lost his father to death at age four in 1998. His uncle became the father and mentor.
  • His uncle once said in 2018 “words written down never perish” the words stuck in his head and inspired him to be an author.
  • He is also a Motivational Speaker.
  • He is a father of two, with two sisters and a brother.
  • To date, 60 copies of What is a Mistake? have been published; 50 sold for R200 each and 10 given away to everyone who helped him achieve his goal. He sells the book himself and to get a copy you can call him on 076 909 7212 or email on

To follow him on Social Media:

–          Facebook: Shaun Nhlayi Shiviri

–          Twitter: @shaun_shiviri

–          Instagram: shaun_za_shiviri

We are trying to change lives, Lamola says while opening R300 mln prison in Tzaneen

We are trying to change lives, Lamola says while opening R300 mln prison in Tzaneen

The Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Ronald Lamola, has opened a new R300 million Tzaneen Correctional Centre in Limpopo. 

The prison occupies 44 hectares of land on a farm, 5km outside Tzaneen, in the Greater Tzaneen Municipality.  The centre is classified as a medium centre, housing offenders serving sentences up to 15 years within the Mopani District Municipality. It is one the three centres in Limpopo under the Polokwane Management Area. 

The other two centres are Polokwane Correctional Centre and Capricorn District and Modimolle Correctional Centre, in the Waterberg District.

Minister Lamola defended the money spent on the construction of the new facility. “We are accused that we are building hotels for these people, we are not, but trying to change lives,” he said.  

Public Works Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet, Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community Safety Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, Greater Tzaneen Municipality Mayor Maripe Mangena, Mopani District Municipality Chiefs led by Chairperson of Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Council Kgoshi Dikgale, Tzaneen Cluster Police Major General Maggy Mathebula and former Greater Tzaneen Municipality (GTM) Mayor currently the Speaker of GTM Council Cllr Dikeledi Mmetle also attended the unveiling of the prison.

The centre replaces an old one, which had 68 beds. The newly built facility has 501 beds and is one of 16 New Generation Centres in South Africa.

“No country has a fully built infrastructure, am glad the Public Works Deputy Minister is here and committing herself to help us build, hope it won’t take another 10 years to build the employees accommodation,” the Minister remarked.

Mayor Maripe Mangena said: “Centres like this will enable our Municipality and district to limit criminal activities; I welcome all of you.”

Public Servants Association’s Limpopo Provincial Manager, John Teffo, welcomed the government’s efforts.

“We are excited about the extension because it will reduce overcrowding; hopefully the building will be maintained; the issue of understaffed hopefully the vacant posts will be filled by qualified personnel soon,” he said.

The Correctional Services Department reported a 38% overpopulation across the country’s prisons during the 2017/2018 financial year.

Public Works Deputy Minister Noxolo Kiviet acknowledged the newly conferred Dr Chief N’wamitwa, saying “we need leaders of her calibre.”

 Chief N’wamitwa was conferred with the doctorate by the University of South Africa (Unisa) under the division of Law on the 13th of November 2020.

“I must go back to the office and fight vigorously to build and improve infrastructure as we enable Madiba’s wishes to care for our people; When you give dignity you have the potential to receive dignity in return,” Kiviet concluded.

Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community safety, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya, said: “We really appreciate a facility of this nature as a province; this facility will challenge the inmates to change their ways; we are willing to work with you Minister.”

Minister Lamola emphasised the importance of accepting the inmates back into communities. 

“We give them all sorts of training and skills development here but we don’t pay their university fees, their families should pay if they wish to study further, hopefully they will use this skills when they are released,” he said.

Chairperson of Limpopo House of Traditional Leaders Council, Kgoshi Dikgale, urged authorities to facilitate the reintegration of inmates.

“When you release these people you should introduce them to our chiefs, so we will know who they are and where to bury them.” 

The furniture for the newly built centre was manufactured by inmates from Boksburg Correctional Centre’ Production workshop, Gauteng. 

 “The mask I am wearing was made by inmates, at least 32 000 masks had been made to date. Please give them work opportunities if you can. If we keep them busy here all day by the end of the day they will be too tired to plot anything even to think,” Lamola said.  

Twenty awards were also designed from the same workshop which the Minister handed out to the dignitaries.


– Head: Mr Nelson Nkhwashu

* The numbers:– Original Contract to build: 22 December 2009, 32 months

– The project stopped on the 03 rd December 2014, reason: the contractor
was liquidated. Progress was 92% complete

– Resumed, 2nd contract: 10 th January 2017. – Initial completion deadline: 10 September 2017,
– Actual completion date: 21 July 2020

– The inmates moved to the new facility on the 20 August 2020

– By the 18th November 2020 the inmates were 262, with 179 officials out of 260 required

– The new facility has 501 beds
– The cost is R335 851 768

*  The Education:

– AET level 1-4 (GET); Skills Development
– TVET College Programmes
– Engineering Studies N1 – N3
– Skills Training Programmes
– Woodwork
– Electrical
– Basic Computer Skills
– Fruit Production
– Vegetable Production
– Motor and Diesel Mechanics
– Farm Management
– Greenhouse Farming Project
* The Building– K-1 and K-2 housing units
– Kitchen and the dining hall
– Hospital
– Skills
– Formal Education: classes and library
– Laundry
– Maintenance
– Transport
– Administration
– Admission and Release block
– Visiting area
– Sports field

9 people perish on Limpopo roads over weekend

9 people perish on Limpopo roads over weekend

Five people have died after two cars and a truck collided on the N1 South near the Modimolle off-ramp in Limpopo.

Authorities say the Ford Kuga had a tyre burst and lost control.

It then collided with a Suzuki Sedan, which crashed into the truck leading it to overturn.

The accident brings the Limpopo weekend road death toll to nine.

The other four fatalities happened in Vhembe, Sekhukhune and Waterberg districts, respectively.

Pictures supplied by the Limpopo Department of Transport and Community Safety.
Limpopo premier’s bursary fund gets R200 000 cash boost

Limpopo premier’s bursary fund gets R200 000 cash boost

The Limpopo Championship, in partnership with the provincial Tourism Agency, has donated R200 000 to the Limpopo Premier’s Bursary Trust fund.

The fund was established in 2002 and has so far helped at least 328 beneficiaries.

 Premier Stan Mathabatha accepted the donation on Wednesday from the Limpopo Tourism Agency Board Chairperson, Andrew Dipela.

Economic Development MEC Thabo Mokone and the bursary fund’s chairperson, Koko Khumalo, accompanied the Premier.

The 2021 applications are open. Needy students are encouraged to visit the number 41 Church Street, second floor or call Ms Ntotole Matlakala on 015 287 6237 for the application form.

Miss SA’s homecoming tour in pictures

Miss SA’s homecoming tour in pictures

Shudufhadzo Musinda spent the weekend at home for the first time since she was crowned Miss South Africa.

The Ha-Masia born 24-year-old Social Sciences graduate made a first stop in Polokwane, where she was officially welcomed into the province on Thursday.

She then paraded the streets of the city and the nearby township of Seshego.

On Friday, went to greet King Phephu at the Ramabulana Royal Palace and visited the Nsovo Special School, Fhulufhelo Special School and Takalani Children’s Home. She sealed this off with a Vhembe street parade.

Musida spent the last day of her tour at her birth village of Ha-Vhangani, in Ha-Masia, in the Collins Chabane Local Municipality.

The local mayor, Moses Maluleke, believes she will inspire other young people to realise that “the place of origin cannot and should not determine your success in life.”

The Univesity of Pretoria graduate is currently her BA Honours in International Relations at the Wits University.

Shining the spotlight on mental illness and the stigma around is the focus of her reign. – The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has supplied some of the pictures.

I am thankful my grandfather allowed me to dream, Miss SA tells homecoming party

I am thankful my grandfather allowed me to dream, Miss SA tells homecoming party

 Miss South Africa, Shundufadzo Musida, returned to her home province of Limpopo for the first time on Thursday since her crowning in Cape Town last month.

Her homecoming official ceremony was held at the Meropa Casino Hotel, in Polokwane.

Limpopo MEC for Sport, Arts and Recreational, Thandi Moraka, facilitated the event.

“I never thought that one day I would welcome Miss South Africa in and from my province. We are honoured. She is a beauty with brains and an academic,” the Limpopo premier, Stanley Mathabatha, said.

Polokwane Mayor Thandi Nkadimeng and the Capricorn District Municipality Executive Mayor, John Mpe, were also present.

“I called my grandfather last night and he said ‘mo ni eta motho’ (in Tshivenda meaning you made me an important person)” Musida told the gathering.  

“I grew up ordinary, and am thankful my grandfather had allowed me to dream. Am grateful to be back, together we will be able to help young people achieve their dreams,” Musida added.

She also thanked Limpopo and the premier for welcoming her back home. 

MEC Moraka quipped, to the cheers of those present, that “you don’t have to go an extra mile to look beautiful, keep it simple and natural – look at our Miss South Africa.”

After the welcoming ceremony, she paraded the streets of Polokwane and Seshego with dozens of fans filling the streets to honour the Ha-Vhangani, Ha-Masia, Vhembe District, born beauty queen.  

She has a jam-packed programme in her home village today and tomorrow.

Musida will also be doing some charity work in her home district of Vhembe.

She has said her focus during her reign will be to address the stigma associated with mental illness.

Ndabeni-Abrahams takes technology to Limpopo’s rural districts

Ndabeni-Abrahams takes technology to Limpopo’s rural districts

Government has taken its campaign to introduce rural communities to vocational training initiatives offered by the Communications and Digital Technologies Department to Mopani and Waterberg municipalities.

Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams embarked on a two-day visit to the area last week.

Hosi (chief) N’wamitwa II welcomed the Minister and gave her a Xitsonga name, Mphephu. She was also gifted with a Xitsonga traditional outfit. The Chief dorned an IsiXhosa regalia in honour of the Minister’s culture.

Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams’ first stop was at the Valoyi Royal Palace, N’wamitwa to greet the Chief. They then proceeded to Xitsavi Educational Centre.

The facility was established by Hosi N’wamitwa II under the Valoyi Trust to empower poor young people of Tzaneen. They receive fit-for-life, fit-for-work short-term courses. The Minister donated 20 laptops to replace the outdated computers, which were used at the centre’s computer library. Only four of the old computers were working and were not in good shape either.

Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Thabo Mokone,  Cooperative Governance, Human Settlement and Traditional affairs MEC Basikopo Makamu, Mopani District Mayor Pule Shai, Greater Tzaneen Municipality Mayor Maripe Mangena, accompanied the Minister. Traditional House Council chairperson Malesela Dikgale leading the Mopani Chiefs such Chief Majeje, Acting Chief Muhlava, Chief Mahumane, Chief Hlaniki, Chief Xilungwa II, Chief Ngove and Professor Nkondo of Rixaka Heritage forum also attended the event. 

“Only the Minister can gather as many Chiefs in one place as today, it is rare; where there is no vision there is no future,” MEC Mokone quipped.

The main event was held at Karibu Leisure resort, Tzaneen, with the department’s entity stalls on sight to offer free advice, education and promotional items. 

Sevengwana High School, Xihoko Circuit, and Hudson Ntsan’wisi Senior Secondary School, from the Nkowankowa Circuit, were invited to the occasion. They each had to bring five Computer Application Technology (CAT) learners.

“This is important, it exposes our kids to technology,” said Xihoko Circuit manager, Magwaza Ngomana.

Hudson Ntsan’wisi Senior Secondary School Principal PP Rikhotso added: ” This shows our government cares, but our computers are outdated and were installed in 2009.” 

Sevengwana High School Principal Oneck Khosa was concerned about poor communication. “No one really briefed us on why we are here, but this will help our kids.”

Thirty three students from Vhembe and Capricorn District, who had undergone a smart phone three-week repair training in
Thohoyandou and Polokwane, received their certificates, tool kits and testers.

Ndabeni-Abrahams’ last stop was Thabazimbi, where she was accompanied by the Minister of Small Businesses Development Khumbudzo Ntshavheni. The Communications Minister handed over a Cyber Lab to Waterberg TVET College.

“Today is the day language and colour meets technology; there is more that the SABC is doing to uplift the Xitsonga Language both on radio and TV, soon Giyani the land of blood will be back on our small screens,” she said.

Adding that: “This initiative means a lot to us and we are excited, the initiative will spread all over our municipalities for our kids to benefit.”

Ndabeni-Abrahams emphasised the need for the promotion of indigenous languages to preserve the identity of future generations.