This Women’s Month is definitely very different and one like we have never seen before. Witnessing how so many fierce, strong mothers, working women and also Clover Mama Afrika’s are adapting to life and work during lockdown has been inspirational to many. Mama Felicity is another fantastic example of strong women working hard to better her life and those of her community members.
Clover Mama Afrika, Clover’s corporate sustainability initiative, aims to empower women in communities across the nation with various vital skills such as cooking, baking, sewing, quilting, business management, and food gardening. Over and above the training sessions, these “Mamas” are all supplied with the necessary tools, equipment and infrastructure to create an income for themselves in order for them to give back to their communities. They are particularly proud of one of their Mama Afrikas who has been with them for 10 years.
Mama Felicity Maluleke, is a true imbokodo (rock) in her community, has not allowed any obstacle to get in her way, not even during the tough times that has been faced by so many during a global pandemic. Mama Felicity Maluleke is Clover Mama Afrika’s youngest appointed Mama to date and started working at Vutomi Inyiko Stimulation Centre in 2005, under the care and guidance of her aunt Mama Linah, a woman synonymous with bottomless caring. Sadly, Mama Linah passed away in June 2009. However, her legacy had left an impression on the community, and her spirit lives on through Mama Felicity and her centre.
Without hesitation, Mama Felicity took to managing the centre and continued to care for the differently abled children in her community. Her love, compassion, and competence in addressing the needs of those who are uniquely abled have caused her to step out of mama Linah’s shadow. This year marks 10 years of Felicity being a Mama and her growth and development is clear to all.
During the lockdown period Mama Felicity has been mosaicking, sewing, quilting as well as baking; all on a small scale and within regulations. She also ensures she continues to upskill by doing the virtual training provided to her (and to other Mamas) by Clover Mama Afrika. The virtual training already completed includes; cooking & baking, cake décor and koeksister making. She is about to do the quilting course too! She also received an order to sew 1000 masks in record time at the start of lockdown.
Mama Felicity believes that you should “Never give up no matter what challenges you face,”, she adds” Clover Mama Afrika has been integral in getting me to where I am in my life right now and without them, I would not be able to support my community on a daily basis by upskilling them.” She runs an aftercare service for 56 children and works on a small-scale bakery, with her expertise being in decorative cakes like wedding cakes.
“Mama Felicity is most definitely a Mama in her own right and a respected member of her community who is making a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. She has come such a long way in the past 10 years with Clover Mama Afrika and she has always been so willing and excited about learning new skills. We are looking forward to the many years still to come and having her as one of our Mama Afrikas,” says Prof Elain Vlok, Clover Manager, Clover Mama Afrika Trust.