Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation to launch

By Theresa Mallinson 17 August 2011

With a plethora of NGOs in South Africa, what would the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation have to offer? At the moment, a lot of noble intentions – we'll have to wait until October to find out more about specific projects. By THERESA MALLINSON.

Nelson Mandela has a foundation to celebrate his life, and develop his living legacy; Thabo Mbeki has a leadership foundation dedicated to the African Renaissance and now Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation will launch in October “to promote and advance the legacy of Oliver and Adelaide Tambo and the values for which they stood”.

According to the press release, “the foundation will address issues of socio-economic upliftment and advancement, education, women’s empowerment and the promotion of arts, culture and heritage initiatives”.

It’s not exactly clear yet how this multiplicity of goals will be achieved, although to be fair, we’ll find out more details at the official launch on 24 October, when the inaugural OR Tambo Memorial Lecture series will also be delivered. According to Rachel Tambo, “At the moment (the person) that we’d like to do it is the president, and that seems to be on cards”, although this is not confirmed.

Rachel Tambo is the spokeswoman for the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Liberation Walk, which is the foundation’s first big project, hosted in partnership with the OR Tambo International Airport and Ekhuruleni Municipality. The walk will be held on the first Saturday of October, as the first event in OR Tambo month.

One of the aims of the liberation walk would be to create awareness about the foundation’s existence, said Rachel Tambo. The foundation is a Section 21 company (or NGO) and, when asked about funding, Rachel Tambo said: “That is a big question. There’ve been some small donations, but really and truly it needs to have a lot more funding.”

A lot more awareness will need to be created if the foundation is to generate sufficient cash to fund projects that will truly make a difference. Rachel Tambo says the foundation’s aim is “to get to the grass-roots level of other areas that maybe don’t receive enough attention”, specifically mentioning supporting people born with disabilities – a condition which cuts across race, class, and gender. The Adelaide Tambo School for the Disabled will be one of the beneficiaries of funds raised from the liberation walk.

With trustees including Pallo Jordan, Frene Ginwala and two of the Tambo children, Thembi and Dali, there are already some big names behind the foundation. Now it’s up to them to create an institution Tata Tambo would be proud of. DM

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