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 This year the annual Clover Mama Afrika Smarties Week took place in the serene Mossel Bay.
This year the annual Clover Mama Afrika Smarties Week took place in the serene Mossel Bay.

Clover Mama Afrika’s annual Smarties Week winners announced


Issued by JNPR - Feb 8th 2018, 09:38

Each year a group of determined women meet in a different province of South Africa to both brush up on their skills and be awarded for their successes that year. This year the annual Clover Mama Afrika Smarties Week took place in the serene Mossel Bay.

As is tradition, Clover Mama Afrika starts the week with relevant training courses for each of their mamas in attendance. Clover Mama Afrika is a sustainable Corporate Social Investment project that has been in existence since 2004, teaching and guiding strong females (lovingly called ‘mamas’ due to their standing in their neighbourhoods) in communities all over the country, in order to build their skills and sustain and improve their own community projects. Only the most committed are enrolled and these include women looking after orphans, the elderly and those suffering from HIV/Aids.

Over the years the project has hosted 353 training sessions with over 2066 beneficiaries. This year the team was off to a fresh start, ‘turning over a new leaf’ as their theme suggested. Prof Elain Vlok, founder of the project explains, “We cannot change the past but we can definitely change the future and how better than to start the year off with a Way Better attitude showing that ‘I CAN DO IT!’”

The mamas kicked off with a feedback session based on the past year which also provided them an opportunity to present how the project changed their lives as well as their communities for the better. The next day began with a mosaic workshop, followed by baking training with Siyabonga Africa. A day was also spent doing art led by Creative Heartz and the mamas blossomed in flower arranging with the Cape School of Floristry. They also learned skills in hair and beauty thanks to Terenzo Hairdressing and local beautician Elbie Brits of Beauty on the Beach. “The mamas didn’t just look beautiful but they acquired some trendy beauty tips too,” says Prof Vlok.

“These essential skills are refined by each mama and passed on to various members in their communities, bringing to life the real meaning of skills transfer. The success of these mamas is tantamount to their training and skills development. Which is why the week concluded in a celebration of the year that was, with awards for the most outstanding achievements by mamas in 2017,” adds Prof Vlok.

This year’s top winners:

Mama Dorah Semenya of Seshego in Polokwane who has been with the project for the last decade has been awarded the Madiba Week prize, sponsored by MiX Telematics Enterprise BEE Trust. With this award, the Clover Mama Afrika team will renovate her centre and buy the necessary tools worth R110 000 for her to carry on the good work she does in her community.

Mama Mirriam from Mbekweni in the Western Cape claimed the most prestigious award for her dedication, passion and her continuous empowerment of others, as well as her success in job creation.

69-year-old Mama Flo continues to impress, achieving this award for her work in the Free State. The award is based on her financial skills, the employment of 28 others, as well as her ability to re-invest in her projects to build them further.

From Ashbury in the Western Cape, Mama Selestien won this award for her ability to take her project to new heights, including increasing her catering project by 40%.

Mama Phumelele from Umlazi in KZN was announced as most improved, due to her project development and increase in income.

This award, sponsored by Eqstra Holdings, goes to three amazing and strong mamas. Mama Mirriam Toni from Mbekweni, Western Cape, Mama Selestien Moses from Ashbury, Western Cape, both claiming their second award for 2017, and East London’s Mama Nondumiso Mpitimpiti.

These mamas were presented with this award because they continuously empower others in their communities and have maintained a solid infrastructure within their centres to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all members in their care.

All three mamas will receive R50 000 worth of progressive cooking and baking courses in 2018 to improve their catering projects. “We cannot thank Eqstra enough for their continued and valued support,” says Prof.

“I’m immensely proud of the women we work with. Each year I’m bowled over by their skills, and absolute commitment and dedication to making the world a better place. While Smarties week 2018 has come to an end, the real work starts as we implement our 2018 motto of turning over a leaf,” concludes Prof Vlok.


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