*This article is from our 2020 edition of our On The Field CHW magazine and has been edited for brevity.
Zeph Maseko, the team leader of four Grow Great Champions (GGC) clubs in the Nkomazi area, believes that age played an important role in the success of his clubs.
The most outstanding of the clubs Zeph Maseko coaches is Ntunda. The Ntunda club was at the top of Nkomazi’s GGC league scoreboard in 2019 with 3 386 points and has many young members.
“Age played a big role because these ones [Ntunda] are more sociable and approachable than their elders. They can relate much easier to their peers, which is important because most of the mothers we community health workers (CHWs) visit are still unfamiliar with the demands of raising a healthy child,” said Maseko.
“It is easier for our clients to interact with younger CHWs. They don’t feel intimidated whereas they might feel that they are being mothered by older ones. In the Ntunda club, the oldest person was born in 1976, I think. The rest of them were born in the ’90s so managing them is different to managing the Sikhwahlane club, for example.”
Maseko is also proud of his other clubs and credits their overall improvement to meeting regularly, mutual support and holding each other accountable. “On Fridays, we have club meetings and that is where we iron out any issues, motivate each other and identify each other’s weaknesses.
“I always motivate them to work harder. I also accompany my team members when they go out to do their field work. The award they won will encourage them to work even harder this year,” he said.
“I was delighted to be part of a winning team, it’s always good and great to win. Hearing that I was among the best team leaders of the year motivated me a lot, so I think going forward we’ll be working harder.”
One of Maseko’s clubs, Sihlangu, finished third on the GGC Superleague Scoreboard, a position they retained from 2018. He feels that Sihlangu and some of his other clubs could have done better had it not been for the pressure of leading four clubs, members having other responsibilities and difficulties in finding new clients.
“My other club, Sihlangu is truly hardworking, it’s just that their area is small and it’s not easy to find new clients,” he lamented.
“Managing four teams is also not easy. Sometimes I have to attend workshops and get other people there as well. At times we have no vehicle to get us there, for example, but we always give our best as club members, despite all our other commitments.”
Maseko said that he planned to be at the next GGC awards ceremony as he had enjoyed the previous one. He wants all his clubs to be at the next event. “I particularly liked when everyone was dancing to Haka Matorokisi. The song brought all of us together and everyone came alive when they heard it.”
GGC believes that the dedication showed by Maseko and his club members is what is needed to bring about healthier communities and the team leader said their work had already started making a difference where they live.
“There is a difference, the community leaders have seen the difference we are making. The statistics for the administering of Vitamin A, deworming and the early registrations of pregnancies have improved at our clinics and this is a big step [in achieving zero stunting by 2030]. Now our community members know more about stunting and the positive impact of registering early for social grants.”