Amari and Zola’s story has warmed thousands of hearts; now, she is back home and in his arms after months of recovery – Zola is beyond happy to become her full-time protector.


Phillipi, South Africa (09 August 2022) – Zola Mceka is one of those rare heroes that does something purely because it is the right thing to do and not to be called a hero by the public, yet he is a hero. This is his story, one that highlights the purity of heart.

Living hand-to-mouth, Zola works where he can and earns enough to make it through each day. One day, while walking past the local dump in Phillipi, he noticed a puppy that looked to be very ill. He knew he needed to help and walked past the dump each day, coaxing the dog closer with bits of food and kind words.

The pair eventually bonded, and the dog trusted Zola enough to be picked up. Zola picked up his beloved friend and went straight to the local animal rescue centre, which is the Animal Welfare Society of SA (AWS SA) in Phillipi. Zola was determined to get his friend, who he named Amari, the help she needed.

Due to her deteriorated state, her treatment would be extensive. Not wanting to leave it all up to the organisation, Zola asked if he could contribute to her care. He insisted that she was his responsibility and offered to pay a weekly amount of R20 towards her bill for as long as it took. Being a man with very little, this gesture moved the entire team.

As the months have passed, Zola and Amari have become incredibly close. He has visited come rain or shine. Supporters of their bond even assisted by donating a bicycle for him to use to get to her faster. Many offered to help so that Zola could take Amari back and become her full-time owner.

Well, that wish has been granted! Amari is back in good health with her fur almost completely grown back in. Zola agreed; she belonged with him. So this week, the AWS SA team arrived at his home to hand her over along with a big bag of food, enough to last her and her friends a month or so and some helpful petcare goodies.

The AWS SA team explained that it was a special moment when Amari arrived home to her Zola. His entire community came out to welcome her home.

“The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived!

A couple of months ago, we introduced everyone to Zola and Amari. Two very special souls who share an extraordinary bond.

Their uplifting story moved a Nation, and we promised that we would keep them together.

Today we got to fulfil our promise and gave Amari a send-off fit for a Queen and enough food and spoils to last her a good while.

Her arrival generated so much excitement in the neighbourhood that the referee of a street soccer match blew half-time early. Her arrival was just too much of a happy distraction and not to be missed.

It was as if the entire Gugulethu had turned up to welcome her home. Loads of people still dressed in their pyjamas and slippers ran into the street with smartphones at the ready, eager to capture the moment and share the good news far and wide.

Zola, who celebrated his 38th birthday on Friday, could not contain his excitement. He told us that we had given him the most precious gift of his life and that he would be forever grateful to everyone for their help, especially the Animal Welfare Society of South Africa.”

Below you can see her settling in and meeting her new family.

Amari with a very clear smile on her face.
Amari meeting her new family.

Sources: AWS SA – Supplied
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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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