How social media saved Zimpapers journalist’s 20 month old daughter

By Kudakwashe Pembere 

NO feeling guts a mother more than seeing her beloved child wriggling in pain. Mothers all over the world have this incomprehensible yet amazing maternal instinct. According to Elyse Rubenstein, a Philadelphia psychiatrist who counsels new mothers, the term refers to “an inborn tendency to want to protect and nurture one’s offspring.”

Almost all mothers (human and animal alike) eventually come to feel this way after they have a child.

Many a mother have lost their children to various ailments not because they were incurable, but they lacked support and care from societies they live in.

In Africa, the Ubuntu/Hunhu belief that “I am, because we are” can be be felt in ways in which we help each other during times of strife and need, something that is not common in Western societies.

In this day and age, especially in Zimbabwe, where there is this hullabaloo of cash shortages, it is uber rare to find someone giving you huge amounts of money. Nonetheless, through prayer, supplication and social media, we find ourselves God opening His floodgates to us using corporates and individuals to assist us in our times of need.

For one Shamiso Yikoniko, an  award winning Zimpapers Journalist and mother to a beautiful girl 20 month old Maqoba Mabhena, she couldn’t have won the battle to save her child from a  life threatening condition called biliary atresia, had it not been for Social Media along with who ran fund-raising campaigns to raise more than US$50 000 towards Maqoba’s liver operation in India.

This is what happens when one supplicates to God to use His people that you get more than you wished for.

A thing which is a sin to one is a blessing to another, such is the impact of social media among humans. To Yikoniko, social media catalysed crowdfunding for Maqoba’s treatment in many ways beyond her imagination.

“Social Media really helped us in the fund-raising for Maqoba in the sense that we used Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and all other social networks to push to get the funds. You realise even Zimbabweans who are not in Zimbabwe,  got the information and they came through for us and it was a plus for us.

“When we were holding our fund raising campaigns, we were looking for US$50 000 that would cover for surgeries, air-fairs, accommodation and other eventualities.  When we finally left for India, we had US$55 000 in our pocket and due to the complication that she developed while we were in India, the Hospital required another $US20 000.

“Looking at what we had done before we went to India, we had approached corporates, many people to assist so the money came through. With the constant updates of what was happening in India, it really helped a lot,” said Yikoniko.

Using a crowd-funding platform called GoFundMe which allows people to raise money for celebrations and graduations to challenging circumstances like accidents and illness, also miraculously helped her.

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