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Bonang has it all, and she's sharing it with 10 young women

19 February 2017 - 02:00 By SUTHENTIRA GOVENDER
Bonang Matheba wore a sexy off-the-shoulder outfit by John Paul Ataker during New York Fashion Week.
Bonang Matheba wore a sexy off-the-shoulder outfit by John Paul Ataker during New York Fashion Week.
Image: Supplied

Bonang Matheba, the TV personality who has it all — the designer pad, wads of cash, fame and beauty — is giving young South African women an opportunity to unlock success.

And no, that doesn't mean she's giving away her heels, dresses or beauty tips.

Instead, she is empowering women through education, using her Bonang Matheba Fund to cover the tuition fees for 10 youngsters who will be enrolled at Boston City Campus & Business College.

Matheba said: "I've always been passionate about giving back and empowering young women. It's important for me to see women throughout the country making strides and reaching their best potential."

South African girls were encouraged via several media platforms to submit a copy of their matric results and a motivational letter detailing how the bursary —  the value of which has not been disclosed —  would change their lives.

"We were specifically looking for young girls who are very eager to study and who realise the importance of education."

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Bursary recipient Karen Mthethwa, 18, said: "I come from a family where no one is employed. I thought I would not be able to study after matric because my family couldn't afford it.

"But now, with this bursary, I've been given the opportunity to study and train in a career that I like very much."

Matheba is among a growing number of local celebrities who are showing that they're more than labels, Instagram posts, perfect bodies and stunning smiles.

TV personality, model and actor Masego "Maps" Maponyane channels his passion for education and children into causes like Ethembeni Children's Home in Johannesburg, Doctors Without Borders and the Smile Foundation. His pet project is the children's home, where he has been involved for eight years.

"I think it's the most rewarding thing. Being in the limelight is a very temporary satisfaction. But if you actually action that into a greater contribution to make the world you live in a better place —  starting with the community you live in and your immediate surroundings — then it actually makes the work that you do a whole lot more fulfilling."

When he's not teaching disadvantaged children how to swim, former Olympic champion Ryk Neethling raises funds for the many charities he supports, including the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Hope Through Action and the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation.

"Every person can make a difference; you don't need to be famous or wealthy. Giving your time and expertise can really change lives," said Neethling, the marketing director of Val de Vie luxury estate in the Western Cape.

Over the past two years the estate has raised R20-million for its internal charitable foundation.

"There are 1,000 homes on the estate and 5% of the levies goes into the foundation. I believe that everybody must have an opportunity for a better life."

DJ Mark Pilgrim has a similar philosophy. After two close calls in his life — cancer and a heart attack — he has thrown his weight behind the Cancer Association of South Africa and raising awareness about heart disease through various platforms.

"In a world of bitterness and cynicism, it is truly rewarding to know that you can make a positive difference in someone's life."

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