Cape Town was represented on a global stage last night when our very own Rosie Mashale, also known as “Mama Rosie” from Khayelitsha, made it into the Top 10 of the 11th annual CNN Heroes awards in New York.

Thirty years ago, Mama Rosie founded a nonprofit organisation in Khayelitsha called Baphumelele , which means “we have progressed”.

The home takes care of more than 5 000 orphaned, abandoned and sick children. There are various programmes run from the home which include an educare centre, care programmes and even soup kitchens.

In an interview with CNN Mama Rosie said,”Most of the children who are placed here in our facility are orphans due to HIV/Aids. Others have been abandoned. Many have been infected with HIV/Aids or have other illnesses, such as tuberculosis and fetal alcohol syndrome. We take emergency cases of vulnerable children who were abused. Some were found living in the bushes or in the dump. We have children who came here when they were a day old, and now they are young adults. They’ve been with us for all these years.

“I would like to see some of them being the future president of this country. Some of them tell me that they want to be social workers; they want to do the work that I’m doing. Everybody has got a dream, and my wish is for their dream to be fulfilled.”

Mama Rosie spoke confidently at the awards and concluded her speech with: “They always say it takes a village to raise a child. Please join us to raise more orphans,” which was rewarded with a standing ovation for her selfless work.

According to CNN, UNICEF estimates that there are 3.7-million orphans in South Africa.

Amy Wright was named 2017 CNN Hero of the Year for her activism on behalf of disabled people.


Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 21 years of journalism experience. Her motto - Travel. Eat. Repeat. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.