What does someone do when confronted by “street girls” as young as 10 years old propositioning men on a street corner? An outraged Khanyisile Motsa, a businesswoman in Johannesburg, South Africa, marched over and confronted their controllers and pimps.
Demanding the girls’ possessions, Ms. Motsa freed them and took them home to join her own five children in her small apartment in Johannesburg’s Hillbrow neighborhood.
That was 13 years ago, soon after Motsa had moved her family to Johannesburg so she could run an import-export business.
Today, Motsa has become “mother” to a very large family â€“ 62 orphaned girls as young as 4 months. Driven and guided by an “inner voice,” she has navigated a tough road. It included being evicted from her apartment for overcrowding, being injured in a revenge attack, and sacrificing her business and career to start an orphanage known as the Berea Hillbrow Home of Hope.
Motsa â€“ or “mam,” as she is known to the girls â€“ describes that first encounter on the street in 2000. “I approached the girls and told them they were so beautiful…. I had been warned they were cheeky and rude. I invited them to my flat for tea.”