Ukpono Ukpong, Abuja
Rosie Mashale, the founder and Managing Director of Baphumelele Children’s Home, affectionately known as ‘Mama Rosie’ was yesterday awarded with the 2019 Daily Trust African of the Year.
According to the Chairman of the African of the Year Prize Committee and former Botswana President, Mr Festus Mogae, ‘Mama Rosie’, a South African child-care giver was chosen out of the over 400 nominees received for the award.
He disclosed that ‘Mama Rosie’ won the award due to her sterling love she has shown to the children who are stranded on the streets mostly from Khayelitsha, a community afflicted by severest AIDS epidemic in the world.
Mogae explained that the South African through her organisation, Baphumelele Children’s Home has provided various levels of cae for more than 5,000 children who are in desperate need.
While noting that ‘Mama Rosie’ has brought hope and courage for orphans infected by HIV and AIDS by caring for them, he called on Africans to emulate her in speaking against stigmatisation of HIV and AIDS victims.
“What makes Mama Rosie different is not only her managing of an orphanage home, but that she has been receiving abandoned children mostly infected by HIV and AIDS who were considered by their parents and/or society a serious burden. Some of the children are now professionals in different fields.” he added.
Speaking further, he expressed optimism that the Daily Trust African of the Year Award will continue to identify and celebrate Africans who distinguish themselves in their chosen career.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of Media Trust Limited, Mallam Mannir Dan-Ali, said the aim of the award at its inception was and remains to identify and celebrate Africans who are doing extra-ordinary things in their chosen fields of endeavour.
He disclosed that the “Daily Trust African of the year award, which attracts a prize sum of 10,000 US Dollars, was instituted by media Trust limited in 2008 to celebrate ordinary Africans who are doing extra-ordinary things in their chosen fields of endeavour.
The works of such individuals are usually unique and have impact across their immediate environment and Africa as a whole.
“The first winner of the award is Dr. Denis Mukwege from DR Congo in 2008. He went on to win the Nobel Prize for peace in 2018.
Others are later Dr. Tajudeen AbdulRaheem from Nigeria in 2009, Mr. Danny Jordaan from South Africa in 2010, and Hon. Justice Fatimata Salifou Bazeye, former head of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Niger in 2011.
“The past awardees also include Dr. Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group in 2013, Mr. Ahongbonon Gregoire in 2015, Mr. Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar in 2017 and the restorers in 2018.”