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Total South Africa celebrates Madiba’s birthday with the children of Afrika Tikkun

Johannesburg, July 22, 2019 – Former president Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela once said, “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children”. Mandela had a special relationship with children. Fondly known as ‘Tata’ - which means ‘father’ in isiXhosa - he dedicated much of his life’s work to enriching the lives of South Africa’s little ones. He believed in the immutable truth that the future is in their hands and at Total South Africa, so do we. That’s why we chose to honour this incredible man by celebrating what would have been his 101st birthday with the kids of Afrika Tikkun.


Afrika Tikkun’s Got Talent

Founded in 1994 - the same year Mandela was elected president - Afrika Tikkun is a Johannesburg-based non-profit organization which fights child poverty and youth unemployment, with a holistic approach beginning in early childhood and ending with productive adults accessing the economy. For the last four years, Total South Africa has been marking Mandela Day by hosting the annual Afrika Tikkun’s Got Talent event - a fun-filled day, during which the children whom Afrika Tikkun supports can forget about the hardships of their daily lives and simply enjoy being kids. “We have singing, dancing, drum majorettes, relay running, volleyball, netball and soccer,” explains Nyameka Makonya, Total South Africa’s CSI Manager, “But my favourite events are the debates and the spelling bees that we host for the older kids”.


Cradle to Career

Education is a key area of focus for Total, says Makonya, the company is particularly encouraged by the holistic nature of Afrika Tikkun’s Cradle to Career programme, “They take kids as young as two and as old as 18 and they go as far as trying to help these students secure bursaries for their tertiary education,” she says, “The really beautiful thing is that most of these students end up coming back to the centre, as volunteers”. A record 100 plus Total South Africa employees - from across the company - took part in this year’s Afrika Tikkun’s Got Talent event, held at Wanderers Stadium, on Saturday, 20 July 2019.


Nurturing talent

Says Onyinye Nwaneri, the CEO of Afrika Tikkun, events like this go a long way to nurturing a child’s development.“Children are not just children from an academic perspective, they are born with talent - innate and latent talent, but also talent that manifests. And Afrika Tikkun's role in the child and youth space is to not just support the child's education and career, but also to look at the child’s talents in the area of education, the area of sports and the area of arts and cultural activities,” she explains.

Nwaneri says this the Afrika Tikkun’s Got Talent event is an annual highlight for the children and the young people that the organization works with, “As well as for their parents, who work so hard. We bring them together at the stadium and they compete vigorously for different prizes. But at the same time, there's an appreciation of what they can do, there's a showcase of who they are and how hard they have worked to get there”.

Nwaneri says Total’s support goes a long way towards Afrika Tikkun’s work, possible.

“We look at not just the stages, but the key ingredients a child need across those stages. These include things like education, family, family support, primary healthcare services, good security, nutrition and inclusion - from a gender and disability perspective,” she says, “And Total has been a real strategic partner of Afrika Tikkun in the delivery of that model”.