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SA woman in the running for CNN's hero of the year

South Africa's Rosalia Mashale - fondly known as Mama Rosie - is one of the top ten candidates in contention for CNN's Hero of the Year. 

Baphumelele's Rosie Mashale
Video screengrab - CNN Heroes


Cape Town's Mashale is the founder of NPO, Baphumelele which - amongst other projects - houses an education education centre and a home for abandoned children and children living with HIV. 

Mashale - who was a primary school teacher by profession - became fully invested in efforts to care for orphaned children, 17 years ago.

"My work started in 1987 - but working with orphaned children started when a child was left on my doorstep in the year 2000. It has grown to accommodate nine programmes - which includes Fountain of Hope for the Youth, support for child-headed households, and a soup kitchen to feed the poorest of the poor," she says. 


Mashile's accolades include being selected as a finalist in the V&A Waterfront Woman of Worth Award, and named as Clover's Mama Afrika. 

She says it's an honour to have been shortlisted by the global news network. 

"It's amazing to be in the top ten selected amongst thousands of nominees. I'm hoping that if I am the overall winner - the funding that goes with the award will change the lives of orphans under my care and of those in the community of Khayelitsha," she says.

She says working in the childcare sector is a kind of calling.


The Hero of the Year will be announced during CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on 11 December. 

For more details on the voting for CNN's Hero of the Year, click here

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