Activist Freda Powell, 67, from Bonteheuwel. Credit: MANQOBA NGIDI

This ouma is on a mission to make her community safe.

For her 67 minutes on Mandela Day, 67-year-old Freda Powell claimed a notorious space in Bonteheuwel to spread her message of hope.

Armed with cardboard she borrowed from a school, Freda stood on the corner of Mulberry Road and Bonteheuwel Avenue for 67 minutes calling on mothers and other grannies to help make Bontas safe.

“I woke up on (Monday) morning and decided this is what I am going to do,” she says.

“That was a dangerous corner I chose because the gangsters usually shoot from (the opposite) church down that road.

“My children were very worried about me but I told them if I get killed then I would have died for a good cause.”

Freda, who has lived in Bontas for over 30 years, now wants to continue her campaign and involve other women in the area.

“My own daughter and grandson used to be on drugs so I know what it is. It wasn’t until seven months ago when I realised that I was an enabler because of the way I treated my daughter, I kept giving her money.”

She adds: “In my house I am the only gangster. I threaten them and I call the police for them myself. Today my grandson is a different boy.”

The ouma was shocked by the positive feedback from mense.

“Those who saw me either hooted or gave me the thumbs up. I’m going to go all out to make this a safer place.”