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Ntombozuko Jafta is a finalist in The Herald Citizens of the Year Awards in partnership with Nelson Mandela University.
Giving a voice to the voiceless and devoting her time and energy to help those most in need of assistance.

It is for this reason KwaNobuhle-born social activist and community leader Ntombozuko Jafta has been named the 2022 winner of The Herald Nelson Mandela University Citizens of the Year award in the gender-based violence category.

Jafta, 41, said it was an emotional experience for her upon learning that she won.

“I was so excited I literally cried out loud,” she said.

“I was so emotional and excited at the same time.

“I jumped up and down crying, even asking the caller is she for real or what?

“It means so much to me and my community is also celebrating with me.

“It means that someone is recognising the voluntary work that I’m doing in my community and working beyond the call of duty.

“It has been my anchor and my passion.”

The eldest of five siblings and UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador with an auxiliary social worker certificate is studying law and hopes to continue using her experiences and qualifications to help victims of GBV.

Jafta, who founded nonprofit organisation TWYST Foundation (Transforming Women Youth In Social Trends) in 2015, said it was after surviving stage-four cancer, an unpleasant divorce and depression that she found the courage and passion to help women stand up and have their voices heard.

“I saw the gap of standing up for women who can’t stand up for themselves and be the voice of the voiceless.

“Other women who went through what I’ve been through did not make it, hence I stood up to save those who are reaching out,” she said.

Jafta said the support she received from her community and the validation which came with positive results was part of what kept her motivated.

“We have sustainable programmes that equip and empower vulnerable women.

“The support from different stakeholders and that partnership I created with other organisations who share the same objectives as ours, is what keeps me motivated,” she said.

Drawing from her own personal experiences, Jafta said believing in herself had equipped her to help others to do the same.

“It’s my life ordeal that made me stand up. I believe God saved me for a reason so that I can be a bridge for other women who might go through what I went through.

“I go an extra mile to help vulnerable people, especially children.

“I would wake up at night, attending to cases, making sure the children are safe.

“I would even bring them to my home temporarily until they are placed. I love helping my community,” she said.

The top 10 category winners will be celebrated at a formal black-tie gala awards ceremony, which will be held on Friday September 9, at 6.30pm, at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Corporate and single tickets are available for supporters who would like to join the celebratory event.

Contact The Herald marketing manager Berna Ulay-Walters to book your seat:

This article appeared in The Herald (South Africa) on 31 August 2022 writte by Devon Koen

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