Mrs SA finalist talks to CHOC parents

Basha Tlhapane, centre, with the families at the talk. From left, Maria Congolo, Busiswa Nkompela, Sibulele Noki and Marilee Heskwa.

Washing your hands, keeping your surroundings clean and eating healthy are important Covid-19 precautions, but even more so if you’re a child with a cancer-weakened immune system.

This was the message paediatric nurse Basha Tlhapane had for parents of immuno-compromised children during a talk she gave at the CHOC Childhoood Cancer Foundation in Plumstead on Saturday June 27.

Basha Tlhapane, from Table View, is a registered nurse who works in the neonatal and paediatric wards at Milnerton Medi Clinic and Blouberg Netcare.

She also happens to be a Mrs South Africa finalist.

She said she understood the fear Covid-19 held for many, especially for parents of children with weakened immune systems.

She had had to adopt a motherly role for the children she met during the course of her work, she said, because they were not permitted visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Ms Tlhapane is the founder of Women and Beyond, a non-profit organisation she founded from her home in 2007 after quitting her job at a financial institution.

It developed from a small prayer group to an organisation that now counsels and supports women and children battling poverty.

Last year she received the humanitarian award at the seventh annual Fabulous Women Awards for her work with Women and Beyond.

“I grew up in Lefatlheng, a small village in the North West. There was no electricity and running water, and going to school barefoot was a norm. I want to show the rural girl that you can achieve whatever you set your sights on,’’ Ms Tlhapane said.

In 2020, she became a regional committee member of CHOC Western Cape and was recruited as a volunteer trainer to educate the public about the early warning signs of childhood cancer, which helps with early diagnosis.
The top 50 for the Mrs South Africa pageant will be selected through a virtual judging process and announced on Women’s Day, August 9, by live streaming. The new Mrs South Africa will be crowned in February 2021.