Philanthropist honoured for her work after 20 years

Community acitivists Marvin Sampson, Aslam Richards and student Riesqa Kasper with Zeenat Isaacs.

Community acitivists Marvin Sampson, Aslam Richards and student Riesqa Kasper with Zeenat Isaacs.

Published Mar 19, 2024


Cape Town - After more than 20 years of philanthropic work in impoverished communities across Cape Town, Zeenat Isaacs has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The award acknowledges the services she renders through her Supporting Mentorship Through Art (Sm-art) programme, established in 2016.

Isaacs, 36, has impacted and empowered thousands of lives through skills development, job readiness, arts and culture training programmes and feeding, clothing and providing stationery to underprivileged Capetonians.

Isaacs said she was honoured to finally be recognised for her hard work as a master facilitator and project manager.

“I feel very grateful to be honoured by the mayor after working for over 20 years without recognition by the relevant people, it means a lot to me and it was such a heart-warming moment because it came as a huge shock to me.”

Originally from Lentegeur in Mitchells Plain, Isaacs said her humanitarian work started when she was in school, when she created a dance group to form unity.

“I feel like this is my way of giving back, it is heart-warming to see a different void being fulfilled in someone’s life.

“Knowing that I have reached 10 000 people is a milestone in my life and I feel lekker seeing they made it and I played a pivotal role in their success.

“It’s a win for all and I thank God for that.”

Hill-Lewis said Isaacs’s work inspired many residents to do good in their communities.

“Zeenat’s sense of care and civic duty is commendable. These are values which help instil a sense of hope in our future and encourages a shared responsibility for our younger generation.

“Her contribution positively impacts those around her and helps us move towards our vision of a City of Hope,” Hill-Lewis said.

In 2022, Isaacs won the Global Climate Change Upcycling Challenge, which teaches schools how to save, filter and clean water for reuse and drinking purposes.

She is currently nominated for a DearSA Young Leader Award 2024, in the Sports, Culture and Environment category.

“I have executed educational murals and training to adults and children by teaching them to reduce, re-use, recycle and upcycle.

“I have instituted environmental awareness and protection of the ocean projects innovatively, which occur all around Cape Town inclusive of beach clean-ups.”

As an activist for children’s rights, Isaacs campaigns against gender-based violence, shelters abused women and children, and serves as a coach to aspiring artists in dance, film, theatre and poetry.

Appreciative of the Sm-art programme is Youmna Mohammed, who runs the Lobelia Senior Club.

She first met Isaacs in 2013. “She always donated a lot of food parcels to the senior club and offered any kind of assistance, that is how we started bonding and she has changed my life and many other seniors’ lives.

“She is a strong and respectable woman in the community and I have learned a lot from her, she has an amazing character and uses that to empower, motivate and uplift a lot of youth.”

Isaacs has appealed for assistance such as paint, food or any donations towards her non-profit organisation.

To assist, WhatsApp 074 256 3243.

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