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Sunday, August 27, 2017


(Shainaaz Dawood)

THE sight of hundreds of people sleeping rough on the streets of Pietermaritzburg galvanised Shainaaz Dawood to start collecting blankets.

“I was travelling to work from Northdale to Church Street and saw people, children and adults, sleeping on cardboard or whatever else they could find. It made me sad and determined to do something to help.

“I have decided to collect one thousand blankets to hand out to homeless people,” the founder of Gharam Masala Productionz and Epic Act of Human Kindness said.

“If you have any old blankets that you no longer use and are still in a good condition please donate them. I will make sure those blankets get to those who really need them.”

To ensure she reaches her 1000-blanket target, she and her partner, Vischal Singh, will host an evening of music and dance at KZN Blind and Deaf Hall in Olympia Way in Pietermaritzburg on September 2.

Hosted by Gharam Masala Productionz, the variety show, titled InfuZion 2, will feature KwaZulu-Natal’s premier Nagara group, Flash Entertainers. Also on the bill are Iqbal Nisaar and Party, who will introduce audiences to the ancient Urdu lyrics used in traditional Qawali music. The songs, which originated in Persia some 800 years ago, are played on harmonium, shai baja (a string, guitar-like instrument), table, dholak drums and keyboards.

Rounding out the entertainment will be dancer, Altaaf Deen Francis, and a number of talented local youngsters.

“Everyone who buys a ticket for the show is being asked to bring along a blanket on the night,” says Dawood. “The ticket will also get entry into a lucky draw. All the profits from the show will go towards buying blankets. “We also want to challenge local companies and businesses to purchase five tickets for their staff or family and friends and then tag or challenge another company to match or better their contribution, as the success of this fundraiser determines the number of blankets we can buy.”

InfuZion 2 will take place at the KZN Blind and Deaf Hall in Olympia Way in Pietermaritzburg at 17h30 for 18h00 on September 2. Tickets are R50 each booked via email: or or phone Shaz on 082 838 7469 or Vischal on 079 858 0179.

In the meantime, Dawood – who is also collecting jerseys, hats, socks and other clothing for adults and children – is manning stalls at Derby Market in Northdale and Medikist Pharmacy in Raisethorpe at weekends to encourage people to donate. Blankets can also be dropped off at Premiers in Raisethorpe, Komisha Hair and Beauty Salon in Scottsville, at the stalls in Raisethorpe and Northdale or at the fundraising concert. Dawood is planning to hand over the blankets, together with 1000 food parcels, in December.

For more information, like the Facebook page: Epic Act of Human Kindness or follow the fundraising campaign on Twitter @GMProductionz.