It has been nearly 3 months since the loss of Nomalizo Matilda Xhoma Mashiyane Mashego (Noma) and the team at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg are still reeling. With decades of experience and highly valued in the environmental justice sector, Noma joined Earthlife Africa in 2011 as a volunteer. Soon after, she became a member of staff, as the Programs Lead, where she headed a number of campaigns, on issues of nuclear and coal.
A very vocal and passionate social and eco-justice activist, especially in matters of energy and climate change policies, in South Africa, Noma was instrumental in taking forward the work of the Women in Energy and Climate Change Forum (WECCF). This forum puts women front and centre in climate action, giving grassroots communities from Gauteng, Limpopo and Eastern Cape a voice on these issues. Noma also helped establish the Eastern Cape Environmental Forum (ECEF) which has grown massively since its inception.
Here are some personal tributes from the Earthlife Africa team:
“Leaders like Noma don’t die; they will always live on in us through their words and actions.”
Sabina Taderera, Snr Finance Officer
“Aa, Nomalizo, I will always remember your work. You are a brave woman who spent her whole life saving other people. I will always remember your kind heart, your love, and your smile.”
VhoTshiwela Tshihuwa, Mulambwane Community Women
“Aa. I will never forget the joy Noma brought to us…that joyful voice and laughter. She was full of love in her eyes…my dearest murathu.”
Mphatheleni Makaulule, Mulambwane Community Women
“The loss of Sis’ Noma will always be felt within the environmental and energy justice sectors but we commit to keeping her memory alive in our work – bringing the same passion for people. I hope this message will bring peace and comfort to those who are still mourning this loss. Sis’ Noma was an extremely blessed organizer that was down to earth and good at bringing people together, while possessing a great skill of being able to explain and simplify the most complicated of things. I learnt so much from Sis’ Noma and her legacy will live on through all those she touched.”
Ulrich Steenkamp, Programs Officer