- Thubelihle Zooma, the founder of Sahiba, a South African women, and children organization, sat down with Briefly.co.za for and exclusive interview
- In the candid interview, Zooma explains when, how, and why he started the organization that sees women and children being empowered
- Zooma also touches on the milestones he has managed to reach since starting Sahiba, also explaining where he would love to see the foundation in the near future
Briefly.co.za recently spoke with, Thubelihle Zooma the founder of Sahiba, a local organisation started by a determined young man who wanted to make a difference in the lives of South African women and children.
According to Zooma, who was also awarded a certificate as a COVID-19 HERO by YoLeaf, he was tired of the fact that so many men were contributing to GBV and violence against children - something that gave rise to women across the world declaring that "men are trash." Zooma, determined to prove that the same cannot be said about all men, wanted to do something to both empower women and raise their levels of trust and confidence in men again.
"With the rise of Gender-Based Violence in our Country and also child abuse, I felt the need as a man, to voice out my concerns in fighting against GBV not only fight and voice it out but find practical and sustainable solutions in assisting young girls and a vulnerable group to find meaning and their worth.
"I failed to accept #MAN ARE TRASH but instead started my organization to embrace and celebrate our woman and children who are the future," he says.
Not having the world's experience in starting a successful foundation and with only passion and determination for change in his heart, Zooma took his very first step towards changing lives by starting a Facebook page and a month later had his first event, which soon turned out to be a great success.
"After realizing Sahiba Foundation was a part of my heart and something to live for, I created a Facebook Page as my first step, a month later, I had my first event which was very successful, with an attendance of 58 young women.
"From there, the page grew rapidly and had 1000 likes, all organic, within a space of merely 2 months. This made it even easier to be recognized and noticed through the work of SAHIBA FOUNDATION on social media pages."
While it was his drive to make a difference that got him a foot in the door, Zooma received help from a number of well-known organisations. This helped him start clothing and food drives, weekly soup kitchens, and even household items for those in need.
" I have had a couple of companies, corporates, individuals, and other organizations which includes, KPMG SOUTH AFRICA has been a part of companies that have donated dozens of food parcels towards my organization during the covid19 hard lockdown
"ALBANY BREAD HEAD OFFICE has continuously donated bread towards our weekly soup kitchen at Marathon informal settlements. DR Roddy's Laboratories LTD has been involved in most of our drives and donated food parcels
"Tiger Brands sponsored us with office equipment. One Act of Kindness has continuously donated food items, clothes, and other household items towards people at the informal settlements."
When asked about how Covid-19 impacted his good works, Zooma says:
"Covid-19 has impacted our work in terms of all fundraising platforms, as many events are not allowed and we solely depend on funds from the community to have our work move forward, reaching out is also not easy due to restrictions and regulations put in place."
While it has put a damper on things, it has not extinguished Zooma's fiery determination to continue uplifting women, finding ways to empower and equip them with skills and help them find their feet.
"What we hope to achieve now that we have grown to be a big team is working together to bring hopes of a brighter future and to introduce sustainable skills and tools for women which will help achieve our goals to equip young women with the knowledge that will empower them and change the narrative that makes them feel like they are owned by the opposite sex. This will help them realise that they are able to stand up and be counted," says Zooma.
Some highlights Zooma has experienced while rearing Sahiba to success include:
"The time when I received a call from DJ Fresh along with Andy Moqondwane who wanted to contribute to the foundation. Also when Somizi recognized our work."
Ending off the interview, Zooma explains that he had chosen to call the foundation Sahiba because it means Flower in Hindi, a name that is often used by the tribe for their girl children, something Zooma thought would be both sweet and meaningful.
In similar heartwarming Briefly.co.za news, Nomzamo Mbatha is giving back to the community through her foundation. The stunner is playing her part in making sure that no primary school child goes to school barefoot and without a jersey.
The actress knows that some parents, who have been financially affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, are struggling to buy school uniforms for their kids as Mzansi schools are about to open for the first term.
The star has taken to social media to announce that she and her partners have embarked on a nationwide search for primary schools that need support. She posted a video on Instagram on Monday, 25 January in which she made the "special announcement".
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