History and Background


Mama Zelphina Maposela (founder & Director) moved to Nyanga from the Eastern Cape in 1974. She had always been interested in community development and worked for years with community health programs focused on home-based care towards patients suffering from tuberculosis (TB), and HIV/AIDS.

In 1981 Mama and her colleagues started a door-to-door mobile clinic to visit those who were sick and couldn’t help themselves. As many of these patients lay in bed dying, they worried about their children’s stigmatized future as AIDS orphans. So Mama promised to find them a safe home. When she couldn’t find foster homes for these children, she decided to create one herself. Mama Maposela wanted to stay true to her promise. Mama grew up as an orphan herself and therefore had empathy for the plight of the children. In 1994 she became an official foster parent to three of these AIDS orphans.

Mama extended this home over time and by 19 October 2004, Emasi became an officially registered safe home with the South African government on 19 October 2004. In May 2016, Mama Zelphina tragically passed away leaving 30 children without a mother.

The leadership of the home was taken up by Hazel Maposela and Siyanda Nkewana. Hazel has been involved in Emasi for over 10 years and continues to give of herself tirelessly. Siyanda lived at Emasi as a child growing up and in the face of adversity managed to obtain his university degree from UWC. Siyanda gives back to Emasi out of the goodness of his heart.