Bikers give bereaved mom new lease on life 

By Doreen Mokgolo

When Cathrin Mashego lost her two-year-old son in 2014 she thought her life was over — but 10 years later, the Soshanguve resident is riding high as a member of the Smanje Riders motorcycle club.

Cathrin, 45, doesn’t yet have a bike or a motorbike licence but is “saving money” for both.

She tells Scrolla.Africa that after her son died she was in and out of hospital because of depression; everything around her reminded her of him.

Her doctor encouraged her to join a social group to help her stay occupied as part of her healing.

“I approached [the Smanje] bikers’ group in my community to be part of them even though I didn’t have a bike — and they helped me to recover,” she says.

“I’ve always loved bikes and attended their events. My challenge was that I didn’t own a bike and couldn’t afford one.

“Riding on a bike I feel free and I am on top of the world. The bikers group is my second home and has helped me rebuild my life and start a small business to sustain myself.” 

After six years in the group, Cathrin earned her stripes and was honoured with a biker’s waistcoat.

To attend their events she uses public transport or hitches a ride with one of the members. 

Over the years Cathrin has opened her heart to helping children from poor backgrounds by collecting school shoes and backpacks for them. 

“Being in the [bikers] group and attending various donation drives, I decided to help those in need especially to ease their schooling journey,” she says.

“I also use my cooking skills to feed the beneficiaries twice a month.”  

Pictured above: Cathrin Mashego.

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo


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