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About Mmatshilo

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She holds an Integrated Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery, B.Cur (Nursing Education and Community Health), BA Honours in Psychology, and MA in Creative Writing. She is enrolled for her PhD in Sociology focusing on the role of indigenous midwives in countering obstetric violence. Her advocacy for social change is rooted in transformative activism where she pioneers ground-breaking community projects. In 1992, she founded ADAPT (Agisanang Domestic Abuse Prevention and Training), an organisation based in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg using holistic methods in addressing domestic and sexual violence. Her work is instrumental in involving men as part of the solution to violence against women.

Beyond urban areas, she served as a rural development consultant for RADAR, a rural women and HIV project of the School of Public Health at WITS University. Working with rural women in villages around Burgersfort in Limpopo province, she designed a community empowerment model that integrates gender, gender violence and HIV in microcredit finance. In 2014, she was contracted by HIVOS to replicate the model with rural women in Zimbabwe.

In 2013, she embarked on a seven day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds for Tsogang Basadi Orphans project in Bushbuckridge, Limpopo Province. She has worked with women and men across Africa, including women who were raped during the war in Mogadishu, Somalia. Beyond Africa, she has worked with institutions in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia.

Her scholarly work includes facilitating academic seminars at various universities that include UNISA, Wits, Stellenbosch, Mpumalanga, and Rhodes. She is the author of several books: Hearing Visions, Seeing Voices (Jacana, 2004), The Kanga and the Kangaroo Court: Reflections on the Rape Trial o Jacob Zuma (Jacana, 2007), Reweaving the Soul of the Nation (Afrika Ikalafe, 2017), Istraight Lendaba and Other Stories (Afrika Ikalafe, 2020), Find Your Star and Live Your Purpose, revised edition (Afrika Ikalafe, 2020) and Sesesedi Whirlwind (Afrika Ikalafe, 2020).

She is the Founding Director of Afrika Ikalafe Spiritual Health Institute. Aptly called Afrika Ikalafe, which means Afrika Heal Thyself, the aim of the Institute is to indigenise health and in so doing, build an African consciousness that provides fertile ground for healing individuals, families, and communities.

As acknowledgement for her work, she received numerous national and international awards, including International Human Rights Award from Human Rights Watch, NY, and the United Nations Scroll of Honour Award for her work of involving men as part of the solution to violence against women. In 2007, she was a finalist in the South African Woman of the Year Award. In 2008, she was a finalist for the Africa Prize Leadership Award.

She is a recipient of two Honorary Doctorates, one in Community Psychology from the University of Zululand, and the other in Social Development Professions, Faculty of Health, Nelson Mandela University.

In her work as a healer, Mmatshilo Motsei following on the footprints of her spiritual leader, teacher and aunt, Mme Morongwa.

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