Christmas arrived early at an orphanage in Johannesburg today, as the UK’s former Strictly Come Dancing star Oti Mabuse, and her sister Phemelom, popped in to have a dance lesson with the girls!
Ilamula House was opened by The Winnie Mabaso Foundation in 2014, for vulnerable, abused and orphaned girls in Mid Ennerdale.
Global star Oti (Otlile), who now lives in the UK but was born and brought up in South Africa, has been a Winnie Mabaso ambassador for a few years, but today was extra special for her. The dancer, who won the BBC’s Strictly in 2019 and 2020, said: “Seriously one of my favourite days of 2022; really makes you value what’s important.”
Winnie Mabaso founder Lisa Ashton, a former BBC presenter herself, said that Oti and Phemelom “came armed with Christmas gifts for the children, shared a braai and are no doubt exhausted from all the games and constant chatter ?. Thank you ladies for bringing so much joy to our girls. It’s a day we will treasure forever. WE LOVE YOU! #mabasolove ????”
Sharing photos on Instagram, Oti said: “For the past 8 years I’d be spending today in Elstree (at the BBC studios) either hoping to win the title or supporting another group of hopeful finalists. But today was so special ?…”
She said “we danced, they got their Christmas presents (happy to report they loved them) brought some food and we laughed and spoke about their dreams. Most of the opportunities would have come because I’m from RSA and from Strictly (which is why I’ll forever be grateful). The staff has worked so hard to make sure everything runs slick, the girls are friendly and well behaved despite their adversities and Lisa and the team do a great job feeding 300 people in the community, creating housing, a library, knitting school, group meetings, mommy and me, the list goes on, and a safe place for all to live in.”
She said: “I’m so, so proud to a part of @winniemabasofoundation.”
RAFFLE: Win a pair of signed dance shoes
Fans have a chance to win a pair of dance shoes owned, worn, signed and donated by Winnie Mabaso’s wonderful ambassador Oti Mabuse. Money raised through this raffle will be used for dance lessons and dance-wear for the children living in the care home in Johannesburg. Get your raffle ticket here.