Lights camera and action are what many South Africans dream of but, Thato Molamu chose a different path for himself when stepped back from life as a soapie actor.

Leading the Thato Molamu foundation’s crusade to build a cancer centre for the disadvantaged, Thato has become an ambassador for ubuntu.

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Paying it forward

Success is always based on community support. Thato has enjoyed the support of his community, in both his acting career and in his marketing business, Gateway Media, he says it is only natural to support the community that supports him.
“I don’t like saying I’m giving back. I’m not giving back, it’s simply Ubuntu. I am a firm believer in the saying ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’, I am because someone gave me a chance, it is only natural to do the same for others,”
It is by this principle that Thato founded the Thato Molamu foundation; taking on community issues and using his influence as an actor and a businessman for the good of those in need.

Photo by Nigel Sibanda

Purpose-driven

The Thato Molamu Foundation recently hosted a golf challenge to raise awareness on the importance of early cancer detection and to raise funds for their biggest cause yet; the building of a medical centre for underprivileged people diagnosed with cancer.

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“Last year a friend of mine, Dr MJ, asked me what we could do for cancer survivors at George Mukhari hospital. We made donations and hosted an event in support of cancer survivors. A few weeks later, my friends were playing golf and I thought; maybe we could do a golf challenge to raise funds and extend the cancer unit,” says Thato.

“When we had a meeting with the hospital, we saw their cancer unit and it is small. They do around 18 chemotherapies a day. When you look at the lines, you realise; it’s far from enough, they have to turn many people away every day. Imagine coming from Limpopo to get life-saving treatment and being turned away. It is the reality for many people,” he adds.

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No man left behind

The Thato Molamu foundation works closely with the Taxi industry to spread awareness on early cancer detection, testing and examinations. While many might see the partnership as strange; Thato says it just makes sense.

“The taxi industries transport a majority of South Africans interacting with more people than most daily. Taxi drivers are also more prone to prostate cancer because of the work they do,” says Thato.

Many people think of taxi drivers as gruff and hard to speak to Thato chooses to see past the stereotype.

“Taxi drivers are people; they are father, brothers, and husbands all doing a job. They have been open to what I have had to say. Hopefully, it will be a step towards increasing awareness testing, early detection and saving lives,” he says.

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