From the Founding Director/Our Story

“What drew my interest to community work were my own roots in a rural community; I have valuable first hand knowledge of problems that the poor and marginalized face. Through my work experiences I have realized that the problem of poverty in our society can be addressed more efficiently if those affected are empowered to help themselves. I have seen women who are forced to stay in abusive relationships for economic reasons, as well as gifted young people who, with proper assistance, have the potential to do better in life… To prepare for a better future, all these problems have to be addressed so as to come up with sustainable solutions. I see the Mhani Gingi model as one such solution.”


Jane Bronkhorst

Jane Bronkhorst grew up in a loving and caring home in Cape Town.  She studied Hotel Management and Hospitality after completing her schooling and worked for 13 years in the hotel  industry.  During that time [...]

Tabisa Mahlathi

Tabisa Mahlathi grew up in the small Eastern Cape town of Mt Frere.  After matriculation at the local high school, she studied at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where she obtained a qualification in [...]

Vuyiseka Tekwane

Nurserywoman Vuyiseka Tekwane began working in the Mhani Gingi Nursery in 2015. She was doing domestic work through an agency and lived in informal housing in Cape Town at the time. She learned how to [...]

Monique Mohamed

Monique Mohamed is 39 years old and was born and raised in Cape Town. She finished 11 years in school. She always dreamed about becoming an artist, but never saw herself coming so far. She [...]



‘Mhani Gingi’, in Shangaan, literally means an industrious woman who finds innovative and creative solutions to social challenges.

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network is a non-profit organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa, which is committed to finding integrated and holistic solutions to alleviate chronic poverty and hunger in global society. Our efforts are aligned with the United Nations Millennium Development Goal, the Sustainable Development Goals and the South African National Development Plan guidelines.


Mhani Gingi empowers vulnerable groups in the community create sustainable livelihoods for themselves. This is achieved through urban agriculture, community food gardening and social enterprise solutions which provide skills training and income generation for our beneficiaries, as well as food for consumption. Mhani Gingi encourages people to become creators of wealth, rather than mere consumers of goods and services and suppliers of labour to others.  In this way, our solutions provide self-sustaining solutions for people to support themselves, their families and their communities.

The Flagship Programme

Launch of Mhani Gingi Satellite Community Food Kitchen

August 31, 2020|Comments Off on Launch of Mhani Gingi Satellite Community Food Kitchen

Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network will launch and officially open its Satellite Community Soup Kitchen on Monday 31 August 2020, from 10:00 to 12:00, at the Mhani Gingi Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence situated at [...]

Social Responsibility

Sustainable gardening project brings hope and benefits for young and old in Zone 17 in Langa

November 10, 2021|Comments Off on Sustainable gardening project brings hope and benefits for young and old in Zone 17 in Langa

A sustainable community gardening project undertaken by LEAP Science and Maths Schools and Mhani Gingi Social Entrepreneurial Network, funded by Pegasys, has transformed a community facility in Langa in Cape Town and given it new [...]

Network Initiatives

Goodwood CHC Fitness & Health Club visits Mhani Gingi Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence

November 9, 2021|Comments Off on Goodwood CHC Fitness & Health Club visits Mhani Gingi Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence

Members of the Goodwood CHC Fitness & Health Club visited the Mhani Gingi Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence in Athlone in October 2021 to view new developments at the site, including the state-of-the-art Mhani Gingi Agri-Processing [...]


CREDIT: Oribi Village


We are proud of our creative solutions to include differently abled people in urban agriculture. These innovations which are showcased at our Centre of Social Entrepreneurial Excellence include vertical gardens and pathways for gardeners in wheelchairs as well as container gardens made from recycled materials.

Mhani Gingi works with 25 differently-abled adults from Uitsig Community in Ravensmead, who maintain two community food gardens and share the produce with other residents in the area. We undertake gardening with blind adults in Langa and train youth in gardening skills at a school for Learners with Special Needs in Retreat. This is to equip them with a means of earning an income when they leave school.


Mhani Gingi innovatively identifies open spaces at churches, correctional facilities, civic amenities, creches, and shelters for women, where community food gardens can be established. We train members of from the community in organic production and food processing. The cultivation of vegetables and herbs on the sites then becomes a source of income generation and food security for the people who work in them, their families, and surrounding communities.

Mhani Gingi provides ongoing support in the form of compost and seedlings. Our 5-Step Philosophy ensures that viable gardens are established with adequate water supply. The Mhani Gingi Organic Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery provides markets for the sale of excess produce to ensure livelihoods for the gardeners.


Mhani Gingi’s holistic and integrated approach means that we target the whole person. Our programmes therefore promote healthy nutrition and lifestyles as well as fostering economic sustainability and social well-being in communities. Our community soup kitchens which serve nutritious meals in vulnerable communities through the Mhani Gingi Community Satellite Food Station help to fulfill this objective. The soup stations are supplied by produce from the community food gardens.

During the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa in 2020, five food kitchens managed by Mhani Gingi in Athlone/Manenberg, Uitsig/Ravensmead and Retreat areas of the metropole played a pivotal role in bringing food security to hungry people. These soup stations served hundreds of meals twice-weekly to communities who were impacted by the loss of jobs as well as the closure of schools where their children received a daily meal.


Mhani Gingi believes firmly in empowering women and youth to become owners of their own businesses to gain economic sustainability and support their families. The women of the Mhani Gingi network are involved in a diverse range of enterprises such as sewing, beading, embroidery, jewellery-making, pottery, tourism, gardening, home-based care and permaculture. We organise markets where the women can sell their wares as well as providing linkages to networks and opportunities which will strengthen the emerging businesses.

The ‘Restoring Dignity’ Liquid Soap-Producing Enterprise established with the assistance of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands empowers women survivors of gender-based violence with soap-making skills so that they can gain financial independence and rebuild their lives. Mhani Gingi facilitates workshops and linkages to technical expertise to ensure the production of quality products and the success of the enterprises.


We follow an Inside/Outside approach that ensures our continued impact on surrounding communities, so extending our Circle of Influence.

women trained and employed in the Mhani Gingi Organic Herb and Vegetable Seedling Nursery
community food gardens established in the greater Cape Town area
women empowered through the ‘Restoring Dignity’ Liquid Soap-Producing Enterprise
differently-abled individuals employed in urban agriculture at Uitsig Community
young offenders impacted at a facility of the Department of Correctional Services
learners trained in gardening at a Western Cape school for Learners with Special Needs
Early Childhood Development (ECD) creches registered and empowered, with more than 600 children and their families impacted
meals per week served to vulnerable communities through the Mhani Gingi Community Satellite Food Station during the COVID-19 lockdown


My name is Vanessa Baadjies. I am chairperson of the organisation called Mandla Sport for Change in the Uitsig-Ravensmead area. We are basically a group of differently-abled people. We believe that disability does not mean inability. We started our organisation about 10 years ago after realising how disabled people were being treated where we stay in the community at large. We are proud to say that we have brought back the dignity we deserve as people. Our life is meaningful and full of activity like that of normal or abled people.

As it is known, our country is plunged into a high rate of unemployment. Our youth and we, the disabled people, are the hardest hit! We are very grateful to Lillian Masebenza of Mhani Gingi who took us under her wings and who continues to market our products or artifacts locally – crafts and clothing. Our activities range from gardening, taking part in sport activities, studying and designing and constructing different types of artifacts.  Some of the artifacts are made from recycled material.

In 2014 we were fortunate to be chosen by Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) to study for National Certificate: Building Construction and Civil Construction Painting Level 3. In 2016 we had the opportunity of studying ABET Level 1 – 4 English literacy and in 2017 we completed National Construction Level 2.

Vanessa Baadjies, Mandla Sport for Change

“We are so grateful to Mhani Gingi – Lillian Masebenza, Dr. Earl Starr and Tabisa Mahlathi for their
continued inspiration and support, and to Pegasys who planted this seed for us. The garden project
continues to be a ray of sunshine and we want to work hard to keep this alive.”

Colleen Hodge, Volunteer for LEAP Science and Maths Schools

It was amazing to see how Mhani Gingi has evolved as a social project. From the days when it was nascent ground, holding potential to a big vision, to arriving at a setup of beautiful community gardens, on its way to a full food value chain solution.

Louis Prevost , Manager, Oribi Village


Our vision is to become a world leader in providing sustainable solutions that combat chronic hunger and poverty in local communities and at a global level, in alignment with the South African National Development Plan guidelines, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Goals.


The methodology is based on two models. The Mhani Gingi training model includes ongoing practical implementation in agricultural projects and the emerging businesses of our beneficiaries, while continuous monitoring and evaluation ensures successful skills transfer. In this way we ensure the empowerment of individual beneficiaries and their enterprises from survivalist mode to sustainability and profitability.


Our objective is to empower individuals to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and thereby to build human and social capital.