‘So many people in townships and rural areas take care of others and help their families and communities on a daily, informal basis,’ says Mzamo Masito, ‘but they do not see what they do as “philanthropy”: to them it is simply ubuntu. We need to find other words, such as “communal” or “good citizenship”, that will give philanthropy more meaning in an African context and on a smaller scale.’
He believes too that it is important to change the perception that it is only once people have become “well-off” that they can give back. ‘Particularly in an African context,’ Masito notes, ‘talent and time are more valuable than rands and cents.’
The goal is scalability: growing small initiatives into bigger, more effective organisations. Masito notes that, at a grassroots level, there are many overlaps, with many small organisations attempting to accomplish the same goals. ‘The idea is bigger than the organisation,’ he states categorically, encouraging small groups to grow by joining others that do similar work.