Most of us have been exposed to the various hats that Enhle Mbali Maphumulo has effortlessly worn over the years that she's been in the entertainment industry. Also, this year has proven to be quite a philanthropic one for the actress.
ZAlebs had the rare opportunity of securing a sit down interview with this multi faceted media star at our offices in Sandton. Enhle has recently partnered with foundations like House of Mandela, Africa Rising, The Nozala Trust and Global Citizen to launch her initiative, Forever Young Ball.
What was meant to be a grand 30th birthday celebration, turned into an interesting concept about a humanitarian cause that's aimed at bringing about change in the lives of young people in South Africa.
So, how did she conceptualise this idea? ''Initially this Gala Dinner was just for me. It was something that I wanted to do for my 30th birthday. I wanted three parties then suddenly something came about in me especially with the general femicide that is happening in South Africa. If we can't teach men how to treat women maybe we should teach women what to accept from society and men in general," she explained to ZAlebs.
"I then decided to host a slumber party for young girls between the ages of 10-20 whereby we had some really deep conversations, that is when I realised what the problem is with women(not that women have a problem), but i recognised how our confidence lets us down at times'', she added.
After assembling the structures of how the foundation will go about executing the set mandate, the Enhle Cares Foundation was born.
There is something about stars aligning for the greater good, attesting to this is Enhle, who believes the collaboration was meant to be. Late president Nelson Mandela's daughter, Makaziwe Mandela-Amuah had also wanted to form a Gala Dinner in honour of Tata but never knew how to structure it. It was a meeting with a friend, Kweku Amuah that saw the formation of the Forever Young Ball, roping in other partners as well.
Enhle further explained that the partnership between Enhle Cares Foundation, Africa Rising and House of Mandela is a life long one. However, it is not clear whether the spectacular event will have a staple venue as the years progress - this will depend on where the wind blows.
The esteemed media personality has taken a page from the late political stalwart's book of wisdom.
''I loved [Nelson] Mandela's will to just fight. There are rife debates about how Mandela sold us out, but he actually didn't. Tata's journey is one of peace, like your Mother Theresas and Mahatma Gandhis of this world. Nelson Mandela was here to create peace and he managed to achieve that. That's the element that I absolutely love about him. He was stubborn and resilient, but he wanted peace," she said.
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The Enhle Cares Foundation primarily focuses on issues centered around women and girls in disadvantaged communities, an angle inspired by a very horrific incident that Enhle witenessed.
She explained: "I once did a campaign for Unilever. That's where I got to hit heads with issues of women. I got the chance to go to various homes and speak to women who were in abusive relationships but couldn't break away from them simply because they didn't have money."
Almost everyone that has followed the story of Madiba would have picked up that his love for the youth knows no bounds. Enhle also found that she shared the same sentiments as Tata, hence the launch the Forever Young Ball in November at his house in Houghton, Johannesburg.
''Nelson Mandela loved the youth because he understood that they should be a part of the change in various societies. This year alone has seen South Africa being plagued by social ills. As the youth we are mostly known to be quite the lazy bunch but actually we are not. Therefore, I came up with a relevant tool of which we can use as means of protesting."
Now there's also an EP which features esteemed artists including Sjava, Moonchild Sanelly, Riky Rick, Monoea and the late HHP. It will be available for purchase on iTunes. Thereafter, all the profits will be pumped into the Forever Young Ball.
The Soweto-born actress is not merely the face of this groundbreaking initiative, she is fully and immensely involved in the preparation stages.
The influence of Enhle's martriachal figures in her childhood also impacted her plight for womens rights.
"My great grandmother, MaMthabela, always ensured that we didin't feel poor. It is a parent's job to make a child feel like a child till they are not anymore. I am from a family of strong women and not everyone has that, which is what lead to the creation of Enhle Cares Foundation. I wanted to create a big circle of strong women who can grow and find solace and comfort in each other."
The actress continued to add that the foundation is only four months old, therefore, they haven't done any other work besides the slumber party and the Forever Young Ball.''Hopefully, with all the money from the fundraiser, we'll be able to reach more communities," the actress added.
Enhle is doing all that she can to bring about change in society. I am only one human. I can only bite this elephant one bite at the time and that is exactly what I am doing. I am starting where I can."
Main Image Credit:Instagram/@enhlembali_/@killastillz