Media Statements

At the 2009 Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards held in Cape Town on Tuesday 3 November, 12 exceptional people were honoured for their philanthropic efforts in South Africa.




Nosipho Mayana from Kyalami, Johannesburg was awarded the 2009 Inyathelo Women in Philanthropy Award for her role in establishing Siyanqoba, an organisation dedicated to aiding and protecting those affected and infected by HIV/ Aids and feeding neglected children..

  • For his work in establishing and running the Siyafunda Community Technology Centre, which aims to empower communities by teaching citizens computer skills and providing access to internet and email, Ahmed Ismael from Palm Ridge, Alberton received the 2009 Inyathelo Award for Exceptional Philanthropy.

  • Anna Versveld from Walmer Estate in Cape Town and Marcio Lopez from Observatory, Cape Town, were awarded the 2009 Inyathelo Youth in Philanthropy Award for their role in establishing and running the Capoeira Educational Youth Association; a youth development organisation which uses capoeira, a Brazilian martial art form to develop personal and social skills in children in disadvantaged areas in the Cape Town Metropolitan area.

  • The 2009 Inyathelo Philanthropy Merit Award was awarded to Romeo and Basetsana Kumalo from Kyalami, Johannesburg for their various philanthropic initiatives including the formation of the Romeo & Basetsana Kumalo Family Foundation. This foundation aids in the development and growth of children orphaned by HIV/Aids and related diseases.

  • Two Inyathelo Woman in Philanthropy Awards were made this year. A second award went to Marlene Jooste from Brandwag in the Free State. She was honoured for her role in establishing and maintaining the I’m a Star project. This programme improves the lives of terminally ill children by making their dreams become realities and for her various medical and health awareness projects initiated throughout the year.

  • The 2009 Inyathelo Lifetime Philanthropy Award was awarded to Ben and Shirley Rabinowitz from Seapoint, Cape Town in recognition of their. their life-long commitment to personal giving which has supported individuals, organisations, projects and causes for education, health and human rights and justice in South Africa

  • Professor Lorna Jacklin from Glenvista, Johannesburg was awarded the 2009 Inyathelo Philanthropy in Health Award for her role in establishing support and services for children with mental problems caused by physical disability and abuse at The Children’s Disability Centre, which provides services to the blind, visually impaired and autistic children in South Africa.

  • Through various activities and The Boertjiefees, Volla and Linda du Plessis from Bultfontein in the Free State have invigorated the failing economy of Bultfontein through the revitalization of the annual The Boertjiefees agricultural show and for their long-standing commitment to raising funds and awareness for schools, churches, cancer, HIV/Aids and disability organisations in their region.They have been awarded the 2009 Inyathelo Community Philanthropy Award. Since its inception three years ago, the Inyathelo Awards have recognised those whose personal contributions have made a sustainable contribution to the communities in which they are active.

Philanthropists are nominated by their peers and members of the communities in which they work and by the non-profit organisations that they support. Nominations are made for a particular category such as Women in Philanthropy, Youth in Philanthropy, Philanthropy in Health.


The awardees are chosen according to specific criteria. Judges from various sectors - all highly respected individuals in their own right – go through each nomination in detail.

“The Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards give South Africans the chance to thank those people who have and are making a difference,” says Gillian Mitchell, Manager of Inyathelo’s Philanthropy Programme. “We had a good response to the awards this year with nominations received from all over South Africa. Every one was inspirational and we applaud all for their hard work and commitment.”

Mitchell says it is clear from the work done by the philanthropists that they are clearly making a difference to their communities and to South Africa.

The awards form part of Inyathelo-The South African Institute for Advancement’s work which aims to build a sustainable South African civil society by developing their own capacity to raise private investment towards advancing their objectives. Whilst working with organisations to develop their resource mobilisation skills, the institute promotes social responsibility, personal philanthropy, voluntarism and self-reliance.