The name Mamelodi, Mother of Melodies, was a nickname given to President Paul Kruger by the black people living in the community because of a habit he had to whistle and imitate birds. It is situated in the North East of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa; where it was first established with just 16 houses. In the 1960s, black people were resettled from Lady Selbourne to Mamelodi and other townships in Pretoria.
Interestingly: Reverend Nico Smith (a white anti-apartheid activist and minister) preached in Mamelodi from 1982 – 1989 and was granted permission to live there with his family, legally (Hevesi, 2010).
In 2004, the University of Pretoria commenced its operations on the Mamelodi campus. This is amongst many organisations and initiatives that are working at trying to improve the standard of living, education and literacy levels in the township. An example of this is the Mamelodi Trust (which works with five schools) and the Mamelodi Initiative, which was started in 2010 to provide after school and out-of-school programs during the winter and summer holidays. The latter also provides youth mentoring, year-round computer programs and other programmes that focus on the youth development of the community.
The U.S. Embassy operates the Mae Jemison Science Reading Roomin Mamelodi. This stand-alone building on the University of Pretoria campus has a small library, computers, and an auditorium. It is used for after-school reading, tutoring, and other activities by students in Mamelodi.
Famously known to have birthed the popular soccer team, Mamelodi Sundowns and the basketball team, Mamelodi Bees Basketball of the SA Women’s League; sports in this home is cultural. The football stars that are a product of this community include:
- Themba Mguni
- Daniel “Mambush” Mudau
- Sammy Zindos
- Joel ‘Fire’ Masilela
- Edward “MaGents” Motale – Former Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates player
- George Lebese – Kaiser Chiefs
- Lucky Mohomi – Free State F.C
Other famous people that were born and raised in Mamelodi include:
- Former Miss SA 2003 – Joan Ramagoshi
The largest outreach program in Mamelodi is Viva Foundation, which focuses its works on the support of orphans and disadvantaged children by providing education, meals, a small store and safe house for them; whilst also giving community members skills and business training. In additon, Viva Foundation invested in creating a “Living Art Gallery”, which consists of several painted and painting of homes surrounding its compound.
An additional major outreach program is the Itsoseng Clinic at the Mamelodi University of Pretoria Campus. This is a psychological clinic that provides counselling and other psychological services to address issues such as rape, crime, HIV/AIDS, alcohol abuse and many more issues that affect the community members.
- Hevesi, Dennis (2010). “Nico Smith, White Minister Who Fought Apartheid, Dies at 81”. The New York Times. Accessed on: 3 October 2016
- Wikipedia. (2016). Mamelodi – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamelodi. [Accessed 03 October 2016].