Spotlight on Local Unsung Heroes


This is a call to all TWK Communities to nominate individuals who they think are an Unsung Local Hero.
We invite anybody and everybody to shine the spotlight on individuals of the TWK region who are doing good deeds in and for their communities. We would like to shine the light on our local unsung heroes who truly make a difference.

Our Community Development Department is inviting nominations from local communities of individuals and organizations contributing to the well-being of their communities.

Please e-mail your nominee’s name, the reason why you think they are a hero, a high resolution photo of them and their facebook link and contact details to

Denzil Jacobs local unsung hero Grabouw

Denzil Jacobs local unsung hero Grabouw


We have received numerous nominations for a very special young man from Grabouw, DENZIL JACOBS.

‘I take great pleasure in nominating my neighbour Denzil Jacobs as a true Unsung Hero of Grabouw. He is a well-known local who grew up in the community which he holds very dear to his heart. A community we all know needs our support.’
After completing his high school education he lived out his passion for helping others through his work as a male nurse at various institutions such as Themba Care.

In 2013 double tragedy struck when, on the eve of his mother’s funeral, he fell victim to a violent crime in his home, which nearly cost his life and left him wheelchair bound for life. This traumatic event, however, did not rob him of his endearing spirit, but rather strengthened his resolve to continue caring for and serving others.
Since then Denzil has been serving his community by going in his wheelchair where others require assistance with day-to-day service delivery issues, Eskom electricity issues, etc.
‘What is remarkable for me is that Denzil is an ordinary guy doing the extraordinary without being asked and in that way creating a better Grabouw, a better TWK , Western Cape and South Africa. He really reminds and shows all of us that we should be the change we want to see in the world.’
Nominated by Desmelene Adonis

‘I, Joun Africa, would like to express my opinion about Denzil Jacobs. The way he sacrifices himself to give his life to his people around him, is truly inspirational. As a disabled person with only a sassa allowance, he does wonders. He makes such a big difference in the lives of so many people, like filling empty stomachs and in the lives of others by doing good deeds.’
‘Denzil is very active at Loratong Home for children with disabilities. HIV, children who were abused and children whose parents abuse drugs and alcohol. Denzil loves the kids very much and occasionally takes them gifts. He also organises an end of year farewell function with gifts for all. Mr Papier, the Deputy Mayor, is well aware of what Denzil does for these children.’
‘Denzil is a very humble and sincere person and I know he also helps people in the community with municipality, Eskom and other problems’.
‘Denzil is not one for the spotlight and will never take photos of what he does for people, but I think it’s time for us to put him in the spotlight and acknowledge all he does for his community.’
‘I see him as a Hero, because very few people do so much for their community and the most beautiful of all is that he does this even though he himself is an orphan and a disabled person. ‘

Nominated by Joun Africa
‘Denzil Jacobs is a person who does exceptional things for his community, despite his disability. His background was perfectly normal. He became a male nurse as a young man, but because of drugs, his life took a terribly wrong turn.’
‘His was left for dead after somebody attacked him, with no hope to live. He managed to come out of the coma, but was unable to do anything for himself with only one functioning arm. Thank God there was no brain damage. ‘
He is living his life in a wheelchair, but even that does not stop him from helping the community he loves so much.
He types letters & CVs for others on his phone with one finger and takes it to Imvusa to print or email. He helps the youth on the internet and also searches for bursaries for them. He helps with TWK queries and advises and mentors against drug abuse and the dangers involved in them.
‘It is just amazing what he does. He is truly an inspiration. To listen to his story makes me cry every time! He is a beacon of light.’
Everyone calls him Boeta. ‘

Nominated by Estelle Williams
‘I live in ward 13 in Grabouw. My mother had cancer and she didn’t want to eat for a few days, so I called Denzil. He went to the day hospital to get my mother a tin of Ensure powder. At first they refused to give it to him, but he refused to leave until the doctor prescribed it for her.. Since my mother started taking the Ensure, she got better and started eating again. She lived for another year and a couple of months before she passed away.’
‘Denzil not only helps people with Compassion Grants in the community, he also cares for people who are sick, especially people who have cancer. He always says people who have cancer are very close to his heart, because his mother also died of cancer.’
Sister Witbooi will tell anybody who asks about his work at Grabouw day hospital how beautifully Denzil cares for sick people in his community.
‘I nominate Denzil Jacobs as my hero as he deserves the recognition.’
Nominated by Regene Kingsley.


Babalwa Hopa Elgin FM

Babalwa Hopa Elgin FM
Babalwa Hopa Elgin FM

I nominate Babalwa Hopa as an unsung hero in the TWK district.

Founder of Elgin FM, Babalwa Hopa comes from more than five generations of agriculturalists, entrepreneurs and teachers who were also pioneers in documenting the otherwise verbal history and cultural knowledge. The wisdom and grace that comes with her ancient knowledge present itself via her easy, compassionate, intelligent and energetic presence. She is a single parent of three lovely children, a serial successful entrepreneur and an eternal seeker of knowledge and truth.

Elgin FM Radio has become a respected and adored fair playground forum for the entire community to be heard. Their gentle guidance on how to effectively air complaints and the focus on positive communication has been a game-changer in conflict resolution without violence. This is no small feat in the recent turbulent N2 closures and community ructions.

The station represents all subcultures of the community and brings people to better understanding and more respectful relationships. “It takes a village to raise a child” translates here to “It takes a strong and sensitive leader to give a non-judgemental voice to the entire community.”

More information about Elgin FM
Babalwa started Elgin FM in October of 2016 and today it is a 24 hr Radio station.

In the latest BRC Report, Elgin FM has moved up to position 12 out of 44 Community Radio stations in the Western Cape. Elgin FM has been nominated 2 yrs in a row for the Best Traditional Music Award where the presenter Tofolux represented the station and Province at the Prestigious SATMAs (South African Tradition Music Awards).

In 2017 TWK Municipality awarded Elgin FM for the Community Contributor Award.

All this in a mere two years and this as a newbie!

Elgin FM has also interviewed phenomenal individuals and public figures from all walks of life, local, national and international as part of their mission to inform, serve and uplift the community.

To name but a few:

The late Sam Nzima (the man who took the famous Hector Peterson’s pic in Soweto Uprising 1976)

Ricardo Gressels Aka Ric The Warrior ( The Public Speaker and Motivator and MC for Extreme Sport)

MEC of Health Nomafrench Mbombo

IEC WC Head Mr Courtney  Simpson

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Fatima Chohan

Alice King US Education National Coordinator

Thulani Nzima Chairperson of Sam Nzima Foundation and Chairman of Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Board.

DR Rethabile the Founder of Molo Mhlaba a Pan African School in Khayelitsha

Pieter Silbabauer – Owner of Trails End Hotel and Founding member of Grabouw Beautiful

David Williams – The Mediator and Chairperson of Community Police Forum

And many, many more.

Nominated by Liza Botha


Local Unsung Hero Nomination : BOTRIVIER

Mr Louis Nicholas Swartz

It is an honour and privilege to write a letter nominating Mr Louis Nicholas Swartz as a local unsung hero of Botriver.
Mr Swartz was a teacher for almost 40 years. He retired in December 2017. He dedicated almost all of his life to laying the foundation for our youth by ensuring that the children receive a proper education. He used to teach at Botriver Primary School and De Rust Futura.
Mr Swartz taught many generations and parents that he used to teach often expressed their gratitude for the fact that their children were also able to receive the great education that they had from him. He was born a teacher and was able to use his skills on different platforms by teaching for the Western Cape Government, after school, home school and ABET. Even after retirement, he does not shy away from his God-given talents as to this day he still assists kids with their homework, assignments, etc. The local children from Botriver are eager to ask Mr Swartz for assistance with their schoolwork.
Mr Swartz is a pillar of his community, he possesses personal integrity and a thoughtful communicative style. I am an ardent admirer of his giving spirit, creative talents and gifts as well as the professionalism he radiates no matter how demanding or pressing the situation. Mr Swartz is seen as a mentor by many in his community and people will always ask for his assistance or advice given any situation.
He is actively involved in the local rugby club and is currently a member of the Botriver Rugby Football Club Committee. He will go out of his way to keep rugby alive in our community and will motivate the youth to take part in the sport.
Mr Swartz is a truly remarkable person and deserves the recognition for all that he has done for his community and still is doing.
Thank you for this initiative to celebrate and appreciate our local unsung heroes.
Nominated by Heloise Fortune