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Change the world

18/08/2021

Pamela Mabini is a finalist in The Herald Citizens of the Year Awards in partnership with Nelson Mandela University.

Kwazakhele born-and-bred social and gender activist Pamela Mabini is driven by a passion to help others, and for the past seven years has been giving back to the community through various initiatives she has spearheaded.

Mabini is a finalist in the civil society category of The Herald Citizens of the Year award in partnership with Nelson Mandela University.

More than 50 nominations were received in this category alone.

From handing out food parcels to giving hygiene talks and supplying sanitary products to homeless women, Mabini has been helping the less fortunate since 2014, after taking a stab at the corporate world.

Mabini, 39, has also become a regular face in the courtroom gallery at the rape and human trafficking trial of Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso, where she has been offering support to the alleged victims.

She said this week that her determination to help others was sparked by love.

In 2014, Mabini started the Maro Foundation which, with the help of friends, family and her former corporate connections, has been collecting food, blankets, clothes and sanitary towels which she then distributes to the homeless.

Blankets are distributed during the winter months and the organisation also offers support to schools by handing out school shoes and other needed items.

Since starting the Maro Foundation, Mabini has opened two homes in Johannesburg which look after the mentally handicapped, disabled and children living with HIV/Aids who have been abandoned by their families.

Now spending her time between Gqeberha and Johannesburg, she said her main focus was to help those who needed it most.

“I always tell myself I need to be there for our people,” Mabini said.

“I’m not going to wait for the government — I do what I love to make sure I give myself to my community.

“My father always taught me to share whatever I have with people who have nothing.

“When it comes to food, I must make it a point that I do not throw away food and give people something that I would also want to eat.”

Encouraged by feedback from her friends and the communities, Mabini said it was gratifying to see the impact she had made on people’s lives and the changes that came with it.

“It is very important and also encouraging for me to put in more, and continue to strive and touch more lives.

“Seeing our people suffer, I committed that I will always be there for them and help where I can,” she said.

“I am hoping that the award will open closed doors in terms of sponsorship as I aim to reach deep rural areas, and to be able to assist and help others in different provinces.

“This will help encourage and motivate me even more to put smiles on the faces of those who really need help.”

Steadfastly attending each court appearance during Omotoso’s protracted trial, Mabini said it was important to show the alleged victims support and solidarity.

Before the arrest of Omotoso, Mabini had helped arrange counselling and other services for girls and young women who were allegedly recruited and sexually assaulted by the televangelist.

“I also help with children, women, boys and men who are sexually abused.

“I accompany them to court cases and arrange professional help for them,” she said.

For Mabini, being nominated for the award made her feel excited about future possibilities.

“I didn’t know people were watching and recognising the work I do,” she said.

This article appeared in The Herald (South Africa) on 18 August 2021 written by Devon Koen koend@theherald.co.za. Nelson Mandela University is the main sponsor in the Citizens of the Year Awards 2021.

Contact information
Ms Zandile Mbabela
Media Manager
Tel: 0415042777
Zandile.Mbabela@mandela.ac.za