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Gift bike raises hope from ashes

2012-05-31 07:26

OUT OF THE ASHES: Chengetai Chauke receives his new Honda motorcycle after his first bike was burned in a recent shack fire.

PRETORIA - Christmas came early for a Pretoria shack dweller when he received a brand new motorcycle on Wednesday, May 30, 2012, after his was destroyed in a fire at the Woodlane informal settlement on Tuesday.

Chengetai Chauke, 26, a casual worker, received the new bike from Honda Kyalami, in Johannesburg after it heard of his plight.

Ten shacks, Chauke's among them, burned when a gas stove fell over on Tuesday morning and Chauke wept inconsolably when he realised that the fire had destroyed his first motorcycle, Beeld newspaper reported.


Chauke said he paid R3350 for his motorbike and had been working to fix it up and make it roadworthy. He had aimed to get his driving licence and possibly use it as a path to employment.

Dave Cohen, a DJ who recently bought a Honda motorbike, read the story online and was touched. He said: "I had to scrimp and save for my bike. When I read that story, I related to it. The man intended on making a living and getting himself started."

Cohen approached Honda SA with Chauke's story and Honda Kyalami reacted by offering to sponsor a new bike for Chauke. Owner Craig Langton said: "It's a small motorcycle [125cc] to us, but it can make a big difference to someone else."


Langton said the company would also sponsor the bike's licence and registration and would cover its maintenance for two years.

It would also sponsor Chauke's training to ensure he could ride a motorcycle. "We hope this will enable Chengetai to get back on his feet and we also hope that he will soon find employment," Langton said.

Chauke, who also received motorbike gear and a helmet from TRP Distributors, said: "I can't believe I'm getting a new bike. I am truly grateful to Honda Kyalami and their suppliers for their kindness."
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