Our Patrons

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Zanele Mbeki

Founder and Patron of WDB


Zanele Mbeki is the founder and patron of WDB Trust. She serves as a trustee and director on a number of national and international boards that promote gender equality, as well as social and economic development in poor communities. Her passion is making ‘POVERTY HISTORY’ and she continues to play a vital leadership role at WDB Trust and is hands-on when it comes to the development and growth of the various WDB programmes. She is the recipient of The International Women’s Forum (IWF) 2014 ‘Women who make a Difference’ Award and The Ellen Kuzwayo Award from the University of Johannesburg.

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Ellen Kuzwayo

Lifetime Patron of WDB


Ellen Kuzwayo (29 June 1914 – 19 April 2006) is a lifetime patron of WDB. She was a veteran anti-apartheid and women’s rights activist, teacher, social worker, community leader and author. In the 1940s, she joined the ANC Youth League and was detained for her political activities in 1977. She published her acclaimed autobiography, Call Me Woman, in 1986 and became the first black woman to receive an honorary degree from the University of the Witwatersrand in 1987. Kuzwayo served as an MP in South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994.

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Sally Motlana

Patron


Sally Motlana is a patron of the WDB. She was awarded the Order of the Baobab in Gold by the Presidency in 2007 for her excellent contribution to women’s emancipation and upliftment and her struggle for a non-racial, just and democratic South Africa. Motlana was elected to the ANC Youth League in 1951. Under her leadership as Life President of the Black Housewives League, she oversaw the building of a primary school, crèche and vegetable gardens in Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. A spiritual leader, she is an honorary Life President of the South African Council of Churches.

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Gertrude Shope

Patron


Gertrude Shope (born 1925) is a WDB patron and ANC veteran. A teacher by profession, Shope joined the ANC aged 29 and dedicated her life to selfless service. Shope held numerous high-profile ANC positions in exile. She was appointed chief representative of the ANC in Lusaka in 1974 and became a member of the ANC National Executive Committee in 1981. Upon her return to South Africa in 1990, she served as ANC Women’s League President and as an MP in South Africa’s first democratic parliament. She is a recipient of the ANC’s prestigious Isithwalandwe/ Seaparankwe Award for her outstanding contribution to the liberation struggle.

 

 

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