This is a story about community and about how important community is

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There’s a wonderful man by the name Jono, who hangs out in the Melville area in Johannesburg. Jonathan is homeless. He always has a smile on his face, helps anyone out with odd jobs and although he doesn’t have a home he does have two dogs. Two beautiful cross-collies, one black and white, one brown and white, four and five years old. He’s had them since they were pups.

If you drive or walk through the neighbourhood and see Jonathan you will see that his dogs are always happy. They are well looked after, well fed and exceptionally well loved. If Jonathan cannot feed him on his own, the people of Melville help him. Restaurants give left overs and the community share their food.

For some bizarre reason last week a woman took his dogs. She told Jono she was going to feed them and put them in her car. He trusted her, like he trusts all people.

She never brought the dogs back.

Jono wandered the streets, looking. The restaurant owners got involved. The entire community got involved. Not just the Melville community but almost everyone in the vicinity and surrounds. Signs were put up, messages sent out on social media, over 600 shares on Facebook, tons of tweets and then - the media too.

And lo and behold, on Sunday night, the dogs appeared at a dog shelter. A woman, and it is unknown if it is the dog-napper, handed them in. The SPCA have confirmed the dogs are in good condition and they are taking excellent care of them.

Today the dogs are going to be reunited with their owner, Jono.

The story does not stop here. Offers of dog food for the dogs are pouring in, although I have to say Jono managed really well to feed them. And offers to help him are pouring in too, jobs, shelter and most importantly, a real sense of belonging.

This is a story of community. You always hear the bad stories, the muggings, the theft, the politics, corruption, the bad. But the truth is there is always so much more good than bad. Always. We need to focus much more on community than on our politicians who invariably let us down. We need to focus on the good. And on each other.

We need to focus on community.

And I feel very proud of mine.


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