Thokozani, meaning “Rejoice” in isiXhosa Together, is a safe place for at-risk children in Khayelitsha Township. The owners, Mhlangabezi Masizana and Lindelwa Masizana, foster their inherent talents to educate street children. Their innovative social upliftment programs such as homework tutoring, choir singing, and entrepreneurship. Thokozani focuses on inspiring children to get to know themselves inside and out. Thokozani Together is a family brought together under harsh circumstances, triumphant through their collaborative efforts and hard work.
It all began with Thokozani Brothers Choir, meaning “Rejoice” in isiXhosa, a group of ten men who started singing traditional music in Khayelitsha in 1997. That year, Mhlangabezi formed a youth choir of eight boys aged 8 to 12 years. However, attendance was irregular. The challenges of poverty, domestic violence, irregular meals, and dependence on social grants made it difficult for many of the boys to attend rehearsal after school. Mhlangabezi visited some of the young boys’ homes and quickly realized that many lacked father figures. He knew then how he could help these young children even more. It followed that Mhlangabezi and Lindelwa’s vision to create Thokozani Together, a multi-purpose center to serve their community, was founded.