Name: Joice Dube (“Mama J, Mama Joyce or Granny”)
What she does: Social activist fighting for the rights of Zimbabwean migrants, asylum seekers and refugees
Impact: Her lobbying of a detention center, refugee centre, hospitals and police stations led to an investigation by the South African government
Nominated by: Gary Swart, Inspired Individuals Director, TEARFUND
Joice Dube, a mother of three, ex Zimbabwean teacher, a devoted Christian and a social activist has been at the fore front of fighting for Zimbabwean migrants, asylum seekers and refugee’s rights inSouth Africa. In 1990 she migrated to South Africa, converted in 1995, and in 1996 started a prison and hospital ministry which led to the formation of the Southern African Women’s Institute for Migration Affairs (SAWIMA) in 2003, to address socio-economic challenges that face Zimbabwean refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa so that these challenges don’t hinder their development and sustainability. She has advocated, lobbied and marched against the mistreatment of Zimbabweans detained at Lindela detention center, Refugee Reception centres, hospitals and police stations. This led to an investigation by the South African government and the improvement of the detention center to a modern day center and Zimbabweans accessing basic services.
Mama J, Mama Joyce or Granny, as she is affectionately called has and still is working on the front line dealing with Xenophobia, unemployment, health issues, HIV and AIDS issues and many pressing difficulties facing refugees in South Africa. She also spear headed the formation of Southern African Men against Women Abuse, an organisation which strives on mobilising men to take a leading role in fighting issues around women and children abuse.
Joice is also the founder and a board member of a sister organisation in Zimbabwe called Southern African Women’s Institute for Development Affairs which is working with community headmen to reconcile and restore the bond that was destroyed by political differences and violence.