The chairman of the African of the Year Prize Committee and former Botswana President, Mr Festus Mogae, last night said Rosalia Mashale won the award owing to her love for "children no one wants."
He said the South African, popularly called Mama Rosie, inspired hope and courage for 5,305 orphans infected by HIV and AIDS since she founded Baphumelele Children's Home in Khayelitsha.
He urged Africans to emulate her in speaking against stigmatisation of HIV and AIDS victims, recollecting that he was the first African president to be tested for HIV.
Mogae, who was also the chairman of the award dinner held in Abuja yesterday, said the committee was unanimous in its decision to honour the recipient because of her commitment to providing loving care to orphans infected with HIV and AIDS, mostly from Khayelitsha, a community afflicted by severest AIDS epidemic in the world.
"What makes Mama Rosie different is not only her managing of an orphanage home, but that she has been receiving abandoned children mostly infected by HIV and AIDS who were considered by their parents and/or society a serious burden," he said.
He said the home had become a beacon of hope for communities as she had given care to about thousands children since she started the orphanage. "Some of the children are now professionals in different fields," he added.
Mama Rosie is the third South African to receive the award.
Media Trust also launched another edition of Kilimanjaro magazine.
At the award dinner was the Ambassador of Botswana to Nigeria, Pule Mphothwe; the Ambassador of Zimbabwe, Maxwell Ranga; the Acting British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Gill Atkinson; the High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa, Dennis Mseleku; the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Media Trust Limited, Malam Kabiru Yusuf, among others.
Recall Mama Rosie was announced winner, the Daily Trust African of the Year Award, the most prestigious award by a newspaper in Africa, in November 2019.