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Rebecca Beka Ntsanwisi (1968 - )

The Order of the Baobab in

Rebecca Beka Ntsanwisi (1968 - ) Awarded for:
Her outstanding contribution to Health Education, Youth Development and upliftment of the lives of communities in rural villages.

Profile of Rebecca Beka Ntsanwisi

Rebecca Beka Ntsanwisi was born in 1968 at Nkowankowa village outside Tzaneen in Limpopo. Born to a father who was an educator and school inspector, Ntsanwisi believed in the power of acquiring knowledge. She started her education at Nkowankowa Primary School and matriculated at Hudson Ntsanwisi High School, which was named after her father – a man who had contributed to the improvement of the community. She went on to study music at the University of Venda.

Ntsanwisi, who is aptly known in Limpopo as “Mother Theresa”, has done a lot for the poor and poverty-stricken community of this region. She has advanced colon cancer but this has not stopped her from serving the community. Together with the Department of Health, she has formed a support group to help those who are suffering from cancer and to dispel the myths of witchcraft which are prevalent in some of the communities.

She works with people from deep rural areas, promoting healthy living and education. She has also assisted in bringing technology to villages by arranging computer donations to schools. Currently, there are students from these rural areas realising their dreams at the universities of Witwatersrand and Limpopo, thanks to her assistance.

When Ntsanwisi joined the SABC in 1996, she was employed as a librarian assistant. The management realised she had the potential to become a good presenter who would be a bridge between the listeners and the station. She was then tasked with the responsibility of heading the station’s social responsibility programme. Despite her chronic illness, Ntsanwisi has proved to be a live-wire, finding solace in helping the sick and the needy through her popular programme.

As a radio presenter she is able to talk to many listeners who phone in to discuss their problems. She then contacts the business community or health institutions for help. Among her many achievements was her assistance to the Mozambique community in Giyani to bury a fellow Mozambican whose body had spent six months in the mortuary due to penury. She was also instrumental in building houses for women in Mariveni and Dan Village.

She initiated a number of developments in rural areas to assist local communities and has opened an office in Polokwane for youth development initiatives.

From 2002 up to 2006, she won the Black Management Forum Limpopo Woman of Excellence Award. She also won the Limpopo Achiever’s Award in 2005 and the Premier’s Award in 2006. In June 2006, the Nkowakowa branch of the South African National Civic Organisation honoured her for all the activities in which she is engaged to assist the helpless.

A woman of courage and unsurpassed love for people, Rebecca Beka Ntsanwisi is a role-model and community-builder with total dedication to the upliftment of impoverished people. She is an inspirational and selfless human being with a passion for the upliftment of others. Her courage in the face of advanced cancer makes her stand out as one of the rare human beings who live for an idea that will never die.

Ntsanwisi has one daughter, Nkensani, and lives in Seshego in Polokwane.