New challenge for Thuli
Madonsela aims to conquer mountains to raise funds for disadvantaged girls
NOT afraid of a challenge, former public protector Professor Thuli Madonsela has a new mountain to climb. The academic has committed to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro next year in support of efforts to raise funds for disadvantaged girls.
The announcement was made at Mandonsela’s 56th birthday dinner, organised on Friday by the Imbumba Foundation, where friends, academics and human rights activists joined her to celebrate the milestones she has achieved.
Madonsela will join a group that will summit the highest peak in Africa on Human Rights Day next year. Trek4Mandela will host two climbs again, the other on Mandela Day on July 18.
The initiative is in support of raising funds and creating an awareness of the importance of keeping girls in school during their menstrual cycle as many have to miss classes because of a lack of sanitary pads.
Guests were told the dinner was to honour Madonsela who was “hardly celebrated” despite her remarkable contributions.
Human rights and environmental activist Catherine Constantinides said: “When I feel overwhelmed by my work I look up to her and I dip into her amazing selfless leadership, the legacy she has built and continues to (build), and I draw strength.
“We often forget to celebrate people while they are with us. Thuli always reminds us about the values of humanity, of ubuntu. Indeed, she has taught us that by lighting the life of others you don’t diminish yours. We need that in our nation.”
A former colleague at the public protector’s office, Bonginkosi Dlamini, described how Madonsela devoted herself to her pursuit of social justice.
“Madonsela was an underground Umkhonto weSizwe cadre. So those who criticised her for the investigation into state capture should have known that all her life was shaped by her commitment to defending human rights and fighting anything that threatens social justice. She has always believed in a better country for this generation and future ones.”
Advocate Xolo Maduma described the “strong, fierce legal eagle” as a shy person whose values even shaped the behaviour of others.
“You can forget about making nasty jokes in her presence because you will be given a lecture about how prejudices shape perceptions and lead to hatred.
“She’s always balancing facts and evidence on the scale so even if you are a friend she won’t be swayed by that in her decisions”.
Madonsela was also described as a “doting gran” to her 6-month-old granddaughter for whom she had bought books already.
In support of her human rights advocacy work, guests donated sanitary towels for underprivileged girls and non-perishable food for a drive organised by the University of Stellenbosch. Those wishing to join the Kilimanjaro trek can email: nkateko@ imbumbafoundation.org.za
THULI Madonsela with her daughter, Wenzile Madonsela, at her birthday party on Friday. |