At the 14th annual Smarties Week Awards ceremony held at the Wilderness beach Hotel in Wilderness, Prof Elain Vlok, Clover's manager of the Clover Mama Afrika Trust, praised the Mamas in attendance.

The Smarties Week Award ceremony is about recognising the selfless work that Clover Mama Afrikas do within their communities and the progress that they have achieved with their projects over the last year, says Clover.

The awards evening also gives them the opportunity to acknowledge the very individuals that has helped the project achieve the success it is today.

The week prior to the awards, the Mamas were able to travel for Smarties Week training. This was the first in-person training session since the pandemic hit, which made it extra special, adds Clover.

The Clover Mama Afrikas were welcomed with a room drop that included a Caftan dress co-sponsored by Fluidity that was worn at the welcome dinner.

In the spirit of local tourism, the Clover Mama Afrikas were also taken to the quaint George market during the weekend, where they entertained the visitors with songs on invitation of the market owner. Other days were met with social distanced mosaic classes, hand sewing and other educational activities.

"2020 had its challenges but these challenges were turned into opportunities which we are very proud of. We all had to do things differently which we did by turning training sessions into virtual training sessions and with that, we still provided eight skills training courses in the short time we had before Covid-19 arrived," says Vlok.

"The results were impressive to say the least and this leads us now to thank our project partners that enabled us to do so much more during 2020," adds Vlok.

The top Mamas were awarded with the following awards:

Top Cleanliness and Hygiene Award
The Top Cleanliness and Hygiene Award is sponsored by MiX Telematics and is awarded to Mamas that have the cleanest centres, which depicts a healthy environment for all.

There was one winner for this category and that is the Ultimate Cleanliness and Hygiene Top Award, which was awarded to Mama Dorah Semenya from Seshego in Limpopo.

Special Recognition Award
The Special Recognition Award was given to Mama Alinah Marumo from Thabong in the Free State for overcoming many challenges over the years but always having a positive attitude and eagerness to do the good work in her community. 

Above and Beyond Award
The Above and Beyond Award was given to three Clover Mamas who have each gone above and beyond of what is expected of their normal responsibilities and have been innovative in tackling challenges and turning them into opportunities for all. The Mamas included Mama Mirriam Toni (Mbekweni, Western Cape), Selestien Moses (Ashbury, Western Cape) and Sipiwe Solomons (Hazyview, Mpumalanga).

Entrepreneur of the Year Award
The award was received by Mama Mary Lwate (Winterveld, Gauteng). The Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises the entrepreneurship qualities of this particular Mama and that she is continuously pushing her fellow members to see their full potential. She empowers them to reach new heights with their respective skills, says the awards.

Business Mama of the Year Award
Mama Mirriam Makamu is recognised for having excellent business management skills. She uses the bakery's profit to revamp and improve the building and is responsible in paying monthly salaries to over 40 workers and is very deserving of the Business Mama of the Year Award.

Most Improved Award
Mama Daphne Oliphant received this award for learning that through hard work, commitment and dedication, you will be able to get anywhere in life, says the awards. She has turned her projects around and focused on what is feasible for her centre and her workers and made such a success out of her centre.

Top Achiever of the Year Award
Mama Felicity Maluleke from Soweto was awarded with the Top Achiever of the Year Award for always having a positive attitude and always being eager to meet her communities' need and provides the necessary affordable services at all times.

Performer Extraordinaire Award
Mama Glenrose is the Performer Extraordinaire and meets all the projects' objectives beyond all expectations. "They say that dynamite comes in small packages and this Mama is definitely dynamic," says the awards. "She has a solid infrastructure in place and provides consistency in all that she does. She is well-known for her strong educational program that she provides the very young in her care."

"We are so proud of our Mama Afrikas and the passion, love and complete dedication they put into everything that they do. We would not be Clover Mama Afrika without these amazing women and they never fail to impress us and make us proud," concludes Vlok.

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