Newsletter - July Edition 2023

July 23, 2023


As most of you know, our much-loved Ya Bana Village Father George Msiza passed away suddenly on May 25 leaving a wife and three children as well as a village full of staff and children devastated by the loss. A few days later, Becky returned to Ya Bana Village to help everyone process their grief and celebrate his life. George was eulogized by “Pappa” Hennie, a long-time friend and husband of the volunteer CEO Carina Goosen. Hennie asked that Becky share his heart-felt tribute to George with you as follows:
“DUMELA -LEKAE (Good Day) George’s mother, brothers and sisters, his wife Margaret and his dear children, Jabu, Jabulile and Siphosiswe. Do try and find solace in the knowledge that he whom you greet today (George) was a remarkable man and that it was not his wish to bring a grain of grief upon you. Also, know that he loved you all dearly. 

Now, my tribute: An impossible task indeed, it is to choose between the many virtues our Good Lord bestowed upon our dearest friend – “GEORGIE”, as I used to call him. A man amongst men undoubtedly, he was loved, respected, endeared by all he knew. Believe you me, endurance, a fighting spirit and pure guts pulled him through when a few years ago he miraculously escaped the jaws of death. But not this time—regret we do. Our Good Lord blessed him though with all it takes to make the great man he was:

A warming smile, graced his face.
• From his eyes, a boyish mischief would often shine.
• A sharp sense of humor, his listeners would enjoy.
• His love for his fellow creatures, of course with children topping his people’s chart, filled the air.
• As prayer-leader, especially in song, excel he did.
• His command of many languages-Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Afrikaans,(to name a few) amazed us all.
• He taught the children respect for their neighbors and good manners.
• A gripping storyteller, the children can testify.
• As a real entertainer, he graced the Ya Bana’s stage.
• Preach he could—a pastor in his own right.
• As a man of God, on many a day he would say “Thank you God!”
• Conducting the many songs he loved to sing (some composed by himself), and passed on by him to the children in need, elegantly he moved; to the African tunes gracefully he danced.
• A true legend in the Winterveld—even beyond—that was Georgie.
• Last, but not least, let us remember his compassion, his love for life, his endearing kindness, his readiness to serve.
• Not a single bad word ever he spoke of those who crossed his road.

But perhaps his greatest Life Achievement of all is that he was a “MENSCH”, a man of honour and integrity in the community which he selflessly served. Hail him, our YA BANA VILLAGE FATHER, a father for all. May God be with you our dearest son, father, husband, our brother and friend, and may you rest in peace.”


George Leading Children and Staff in a Prayer Walk
Our friend Anna Dobbs was unable to be in South Africa but wrote this beautiful tribute to George which was read on Father’s Day:

“George was one of my favorite people. This is the thought that keeps coming to mind as I’ve been reflecting on the time I was blessed to be able to spend with him. The thing that I am reminded of each time I say those words is that he was so many people’s favorite person. What a beautiful legacy that is. He brought people in and made them feel loved, special, welcome. Wherever George was, felt like home.

His joy was contagious and he could bring laughter and light to the darkest days. I think that is one of the hardest parts of losing him. We would all be looking to him to help ease the pain, make us smile, or lift us up with a song. While we sit here in what feels like insurmountable grief, we know that George is experiencing unimaginable joy. I can see him dancing and singing praises at the feet of Jesus now. Heaven is so much brighter now but our world is so much darker without him in it. He loved us all so well and that is why it is so hard to say goodbye.

I always thought it was so incredible how George loved each of his kids at Ya Bana so uniquely. He could play with the little ones and knew exactly what to say to make the teenagers laugh. For everyone, he was a guiding light, a listening ear, and a shoulder to cry on. He saw the absolute best in people and was able to bring that out in everyone he met. I will never forget riding around Winterveldt with him and feeling like I was with a celebrity because everyone knew George and he had a way of making every person he encountered feel special. While I am not physically there, my heart is with you all as it always is. I hope we can each take the light and love George shared so freely with us and continue to share it with each other and the world around us in his memory. The days ahead will be hard, but we have hope in knowing we will all be together again one day. Kea Lerata.” (I AM SHOUTING thinking about that day)

All my love, 


Our Mabopane volunteers and some of the spouses gathered at noon on June 17 at Green Level Baptist Church where they were served a delicious lunch by Mabopane Board Members in appreciation for their services to the Foundation. Board member, Sarah Hall and PopUp Administrator, Ashley Napier shared their appreciation for the loyalty and commitment of the volunteers.

In keeping with the ongoing theme of “Be The Light”, prayer candles encouraging prayer for individual children at Ya Bana Village were made available to those in attendance.


Volunteers showed up in abundance at the Mission House on July 13 to show some love to Ashley Napier who is expecting her second child—Henry Keith—in early August. The luncheon and baby shower were coordinated by Mary Stoll and a team of great helpers. Creative juices were flowing among several of the participants who customized their gifts. And the party favor at each table setting (a miniature diaper full of candy) was clearly a hit.
Best wishes Ashley for a safe and speedy delivery,
and a healthy little boy named Henry.


“Volunteering in the ladies’ clothing room at Mabopane has been such a great addition to my retired life schedule. I was introduced to Mabopane Foundation and its ministry to the children of Ya Bana Village by a friend.

The Mission House is such a unique way of displaying items that are donated for resale; and keeping the items in the ladies’clothing room fresh and beautifully displayed is really just FUN! People often say that volunteering gives much more to the volunteer than to the intended recipient. I would agree that is certainly the case for my time here at Mabopane. Try it, you’ll like it!”

Janice Carter
Left to right: Jo Strobush and Janice Carter
3913 US Hwy 64W Apex, NC 27523
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