Every so often, it is not enough for people in the community to be a “united front”. There is always a dire need for someone to take initiative. Taking initiative starts with a person taking time to understand and support community development. The aim should never be to make headlines but to create a movement and change mindsets within communities, this way, one can create a lasting impact.
Babalwa Mbuku, is the Owner and Director of Ntombam Group, an organisation that equips girls with leadership skills and knowledge to help them deal with the challenges that they are faced with every day, learn to overcome them and make a difference in their communities.
Babalwa is a woman born of God-fearing parents, from the roots of the Eastern Cape, in the small town of Umtata, growing up with great values including taking care of others.
Miss Mbuku is extremely passionate about the girl child’s feminine care and dignity needs. As a period coach, she helps girls understand puberty and be able to embrace menstruation as a normal part of their development. Babalwa is also establishing herself as an entrepreneur who will be influential in the community to help others discover opportunities they were never afforded growing up.
“We encourage them to live their lives positively, transforming them into better young women by educating them on all the factors that affect teenage girls today and to encourage personal growth. The idea is to provide unique and powerful experiences that build self-confidence and encourage self-exploration. It is vital that female adults become role models and play a part in helping teenagers gain personal power, grow self-esteem and encourage them to think beyond their current circumstances,” says Babalwa.
Babalwa is motivated by the struggles in her community; she uses shortcomings as a way of identifying opportunities. The communities of rural Eastern Cape are plagued with poverty, lack of resources and information. It is amazing how stories told and uncontrollable circumstances give birth to many initiatives of goodwill. It was also a situation of misfortune that made Miss Mbuku stand up and play her part in the community, as she was tired of doing nothing to assist.
“One day as I sat in my lounge watching daily news on Morning Live, I heard a plea that came from an Eastern Cape girl asking for free sanitary towels from the Minister. To my disappointment, the Minister’s response was ‘We can give out sanitary pads but we are still trying to find the best strategy’. That response shook me and I was prompted to find the strategy. I did my research and I got to know of a black owned sanitary manufacturing company. I sourced their product and got to distribute their sanitary towels in and around the Eastern Cape. I started to donate sanitary pads to the underprivileged in the rural areas and I have been actively doing so, up to this day”, Babalwa said.
Charity is more than just generous actions or donations to aid the poor, it takes one person dedicating their life to assisting those who need help. When one sees the needs of girls less fortunate and plays a part to help, it gives immeasurable power to influence the world in ways that are exceptional. Helping girls from a tender age teaches them to trust themselves, grow and flourish into women who can find fulfillment in whatever circumstance they are in. This helps the girl child know what it is to conquer the world.
With the number of young girls South Africa in dire need of Life Coaches, Role Models and Mentors, Babalwa is playing her part through her Ntombam Group, in grooming women of tomorrow.