Photo Credit: Tyler Leigh Vivier

Ntshemba was found covered in painful mange, starved and abused, she was rescued and taken in by the Khumba Ncila Animal Welfare Clinic, and today her story inspires hope.


Mpumalanga, South Africa (11 December 2023) – Good Things Guy got the opportunity to visit the Khumba Ncila project based in Lilydale, bordering the Sabi Sands, to see how the newly opened animal welfare clinic is aiding the surrounding community. While there, we met Ntshemba and heard her story, which is inspiring hope.

Khumba Ncila, meaning Touching Tales in Shangaan, helps a total of eight communities bordering the Sabi Sands, including Justicia, Lilydale, Mabarhule, Belfast, Somerset and Huntington. Funded by the Savanna Trust and various sponsors, the newly built animal clinic in Lilydale, sits on land donated to the cause by the community. It is positioned to become a hub for animal welfare as it has been built to house surgical wards, veterinary consulting rooms and isolation areas for any sickly animals and cattle, and it even boasts a charity shop.

Since starting this community project in 2019, the Savanna Trust has seen it grow and be welcomed by the community.

The official opening of the new animal clinic took place on the 10th of November, 2023, and the community came together to cater the event and host all the visitors arriving at the clinic. Their involvement in this project has been the most profound, working to help build up this much-needed facility within their region.

Photo Credit: Tyler Leigh Vivier

Good Things Guy arrived at the clinic on one of its spay and neuter days in late November. These days are finely tuned exercises that help spay and neuter community dogs to help manage the population of unwanted litters. The days are made possible thanks to volunteer veterinary students working on their hours, donors funding the sundries needed for sterilisation and the community showing up to have their dogs fixed.

“The focus is helping the neighbouring community and their animals by giving support, education and care for all their livestock and pets, as well as aiding homeless animals in need.

We are working with their pets and livestock.

It is split into three parts;

  • Dipping and home visits,
  • Veterinary care and sterilization days,
  • puppy classes with the focus on education.

To address animal welfare issues in the community, through educating the people on proper animal care, enabling a better quality of life for these animals.

To provide vet care throughout the communities for vaccinations, sterilizations and any health issues found, such as injuries, septic wounds, mange, tick infestations and diseases.”

Photo Credit: Tyler Leigh Vivier

Upon arriving, we met Ntshemba and her carer (and clinic manager) Karen Matsane – both pictured above. Ntshemba was found in an awful state, covered in painful mange and terrified of humans. She was taken to the Khumba Ncila and, within just a few weeks, has made leaps and bounds in her recovery and in trusting humans again.

Already, she has gained a substantial amount of weight back, her fur is slowly growing back in and when she sees humans, she wags her tail and even lets you pet her. The team at Khumba Ncila have adopted her, Ntshemba will become the mascot for all the rescues and animals that pass through the clinic. Inspiring hope and showing what second chances look like.

Khumba Ncila will continue working within each community as well as running the animal clinic in Lilydale. They are there within the community, making a difference. Where resources are limited, they make sure to give what is needed.

The team welcome donations for the animal clinic, things like dog food, dog blankets, bowls, collars and leads are the most needed as these are regularly handed out to families that need them.

If you would like to get involved, or make donations, you can reach out to Natasha Whyte via email here. You can also follow along with the work being done in each of the communities via the Facebook page here.

Sources: Good Things Guy / Savanna Trust
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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