Nelson Mandela Foundation

Media Statement: Making Every Day a Mandela Day
From: The Nelson Mandela Foundation
Date of Issue: 29 July 2020

Ninth-grader Sibonelo Radebe has lived for years with prominent keloids on both ears. They have impaired his hearing and damaged his self-esteem. Wearing a hoodie to hide them became a way of life. Until now.

In a Mandela Day-inspired intervention Sibonelo has had the keloids removed and has started a new life.

The turn-around in his fortunes began when the Chairperson of Ikageng, Thabiso Chauke, encountered Sibonelo at the Ikageng facility in Soweto. A major focus of Ikageng’s work is supporting young people with parents who are absent or have passed away. And for too long Sibonelo has had only a grandmother in his life. 

Dr Catherine Davies

Dr Catherine Davies, known as Dr Cathy, operated on Sibonelo's prominent keloids (scarring) free of charge.

(Image: Supplied)

Thabiso, who as a youngster was also a beneficiary of Ikageng, made contact with Dr Catherine Davies, better known as Doctor Cathy. She is a medical doctor specialising in aesthetic medicine. Most of her work is about helping people whose bodies have been damaged in accidents.

Doctor Cathy immediately agreed to operate on Sibonelo, free of charge. She also donated sporting equipment to him and committed to continuing medical attention to ensure that the keloids do not grow back. As she said: “We will walk this journey with Sibonelo to make sure they do not reoccur. My wish for him is to carry on with his dreams of owning a business, playing soccer and body building, without being complexed about his keloids.”

The Foundation shares in the joy of Sibonelo and his grandmother. We applaud Dr Cathy and Thabiso Chauke. They turn Madiba’s dream for the Mandela Day campaign into a reality.

For media enquiries, please contact the Spokesperson of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Luzuko Koti, at or on (+27) 082 994 0349.

Sibonelo Radebe 2

Sibonelo Radebe's keloids.

(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)
Sibonelo Radebe 3

Sibonelo Radebe's keloids.

(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)
Sibonelo Radebe 4

Sibonelo Radebe's keloids.

(Image: Nelson Mandela Foundation)