In recent weeks, more than 700 people across Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe were killed, and hundreds of thousands displaced, by Cyclone Idai. Fortunately, there have been many people who have stepped up to offer aid. A notable mention is Plaxedes “Gogo” Dilon. The 70-year-old grandmother walked 10 miles to deliver supplies to cyclone victims. Now, her compassionate is deed is being rewarded by a billionaire philanthropist.
Dilon is used to walking long distances from home to work each day. Reportedly, the widow wakes up at 4 AM every day so she can travel across the region and sell clothes. Last week, Dilon made it back to her home in Harare, Zimbabwe, when she heard the news about Cyclone Idai on the radio.
Saddened by the news, Dilon decided to do something to help. She filled a bag with kitchen supplies and clothes that she intended to resell. Then, she started the trek to the disaster relief area to donate the goods. The only problem was, she didn’t have enough money for a bus. So, the 70-year-old activist walked 10 miles to the Highland Presbyterian Church.
This gogo had no 50c for combi, walked the whole way from Mbare to Highlands just to donate her pots to give to people in chimanimani. PTL
Members of the congregation highlighted her deed by posting a photo of Dilon and her massive supply bag to social media. The post was shared by thousands of people before it caught the eye of Strive Masiywa. According to Forbes, Masiyiwa is currently ranked as one of the richest people in Africa. He and his company have been leading the emergency response effort to assist the regions affected by the cyclone. When Masiyiwa read Dilon’s story, the tech mogul promised to reward her for her efforts.
“What she did is one of the most remarkable acts of compassion I have ever seen,” wrote Masiyiwa. “When this is over, I’m going to find her, and invite her to come and see me, if possible. Then I will spend time in prayer with her. Then I will build her a house, anywhere she wants in Zimbabwe. It will have solar power and running water. Then I will give her a monthly allowance of $1,000 for life.”
Dilon, a great-grandmother of nine and a widow of 11 years, could probably use the support. But, when she was asked about her good deed, she simply stated that it was her duty as a human being to help others in need.
“Being able to feel each other’s pain and to carry each other’s burden is what makes humanity great and better than other species,” Dilon told The Sunday Mail. “What you give out in the world is what you receive back.”
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