Jackie Maarohanye is a South African school owner and lead character in a true-life documentary. She was regarded as a heroine by both her countrymen and the world until she was exposed as a fraud. Mama Jackey as she is fondly called earned additional popularity for being the mother of a hip hop musician, Molemo Maarohanye who goes by the stage name, Jub Jub.
Jub Jub’s mother founded the school known as The Ithuteng Trust which appeared to be focused on rescuing and giving hope to abused children in South Africa. The proprietress’ apparent good work announced her to all parts of the world, bringing celebrities of Oprah Winfrey’s ilk to make generous donations to her cause. At the end of the day, it turned out that there was more to The Ithuteng Trust than meets the eye.
Who is Jackie Maarohanye?
Absolutely nothing is known about Jackie Maarohanye or Mama Jackey’s early life and family background, not even her date of birth is known. No media source has ever recorded the elderly woman’s growing up years, making it difficult for people to identify her parents and siblings. The only thing that can be said about the heroine’s background is that she was named Jacqueline Maarohanye at birth.
Talking about her academic qualifications, the mother of four has never let on facts about those important aspects of her life. However, fans believe she has been educated to a reasonable extent to be able to achieve the success she has recorded to date.
What is Jackie Maarohanye’s Occupation
The South African woman is a school proprietress in addition to being an onscreen personality in a special South African documentary.
The Ithuteng Trust
In 1997, Jackie Maarohanye, founder of what is known today as The Ithuteng Trust – a special school, charged herself with the responsibility of rescuing orphaned children who have suffered from political violence, those who passed through sexual abuse, and several other terrible acts meted out to helpless and unprotected children in South Africa.
When she has rescued these abused children, Mama Jackey ostensibly gives them hope for a brighter future through education. She was believed to be doing all these through her school located in the Soweto part of South Africa.
From 1997 to date, Jackie Maarohanye assisted and inspired more than 6000 children – most of her protégés came from the Township of Soweto and they end up at the school after becoming sufferers and victims of crime from a young age. These abandoned children view The Ithuteng Trust as their safe haven from miscreants like murders, rapists, and gangs.
As time rolled by, South Africans started viewing Mama Jackey as a huge force in the solemn fight against child abuse. The reputation of the school grew far and near, bringing famous people all over the world to visit the school. While some sent heavy financial assistance, several others came in person to associate with Jackie Maarohanye and The Ithuteng Trust.
The first to pay a visit to the school was Charlie Ebersol on his trip to South Africa. From what he saw, Charlie went into serious research which revealed that Ithuteng Trust was the sole institution with a 100 percent graduation rate. Before he left, Ebersol who was greatly moved by what he saw promised to come back to Mama Jackey’s school to document their activities via film.
Also, Mama Jackey was running an adult literacy program alongside her school. In 1999, reports said the South African heroine approached Nelson Mandela for his assistance in establishing an outreach program for the Ithuteng Trust children.
The Ithuteng Documentary
Charlie Ebersol was obviously true to his words as the Ebersol family later produced the documentary named, Ithuteng. The documentary which was produced in 2005 was quite an interesting one, starring Jackie Maarohanye as Mama Jackey, the founder of The Ithuteng Trust alongside her students and protégés. The documentary premiered on HBO and HIBO Family in December 2006 and continued to air even after Mama Jackey got busted.
The Story of Lebo
Among the many gory tales, the documentary covered at The Ithuteng Trust was that of a young girl named Lebo. According to the storyline, the young lady fell victim to gang rape which did not only put her in the family way but left the girl HIV positive. Weighed down by her problems, Lebo decided to seek refuge at Mama Jackey’s school, The Ithuteng Trust.
Lebo’s story turned out to be a tragic one as the little girl didn’t survive the effect of her horrific experience. A short while after the filming of the documentary, she lost the battle to HIV AIDS.
At The Ithuteng Trust, children like Lebo learn radical methods through which they can cope with their trauma. After producing the documentary movie, Charlie Ebersol said he has learned many life lessons from it and would continue to show gratitude to his family. Charlie said he would never let a day pass without saying “I Love You” to his family.
The documentary movie was eventually watched by the richest woman of black descent Oprah Winfrey and from what she saw, Oprah decided to go meet Jackie Maarohanye in person. After listening to the heartbreaking stories of some of the kids, she gave them some encouraging words, telling the protégés of The Ithuteng Trust to take their pain and convert it into power.
South Africans continued to view Jackie Maarohanye as a source of inspiration and hope to abused children all over the country. Her ostensible commitment towards kids who are victims of violence was applauded in the country and she was considered to be the people’s heroine until the day she was exposed for who she really is.
Prominent Personalities Associated with The Ithuteng Trust
As earlier mentioned, The Ithuteng Trust attracted the attention and sympathy of A-list celebrities and notable personalities across the world. Charlie Ebersol for one showed his solidarity by documenting the happenings in the school into a movie that announced them to the world.
It was through the documentary movie that celebs of Oprah’s ilk got to hear about the school, the television personality and talk show host did not just come down to personally hear the life stories of the children, she also gave them moral and financial support. According to reports, Oprah donated the sum of 1.14 million dollars to the noble cause and also showed them on The Oprah Winfrey Show; this happened in February 2006.
Apart from Oprah, The Ithuteng Trust also attracted sponsorship from others like the NBA (National Basketball Association) in the United States. A donation of $100,000 came from NBA player, Dikembe Mutombo. Also, after he got to know about Jackie Maarohanye’s activities in the school, the Madiba of South Africa, the late Nelson Mandela dubbed Mama Jackey, the Angel of Soweto for her selfless show of love to the downtrodden.
Other celebs who are associated with the school are award-winning actors, Chris Tucker, Brad Pitt, and many others. Los Angeles Times also carried their story which came as no surprise as it was attracting the attention of numerous top-notch celebs in Hollywood and the American sports industry
Reports say the children were presented with the opportunity of recounting the stories of their lives at the United Nations and also did the same for Clinton, the ex-president of the United States in 2001 through television and radio.
Amanda Du-Pont Triggered the Truth About Jackie Maarohanye’s Real Personality
For many years, South Africans held Jackie Maarohanye in high esteem as a saver of abused children. However, the story began to take a new turn after SA actress, Amanda Du-Pont spoke up against her son Jub Jub. According to the actress, she was abused and raped for two years by Mama Jackey’s son but was terrified to speak because of the power and clout the heroine wields in the country.
In her statement, Amanda Du-Pont mentioned Oprah Winfrey and the unmerited money Mama has been taking from the TV host.
Carte Blanche Journalists Dug Deep To Expose Mama Jackey and The Ithuteng Trust
With their curiosity awoken, the media set to work, and before long, Carte Blanche, the SA investigative news magazine show went on the trail of Jackie Maarohanye and her Ithuteng Trust. Disclosures from the investigative journalism program said the majority of Mama Jackey’s students were not orphans.
According to the ensuing reports, the South African heroine compels the kids to rehearse those heartbreaking tales so as to get a lot of sponsorships from well-meaning celebrities. The entire stories were later revealed to be scripted by the woman, including the gory ones about the children watching their parents die.
The students told the publication that even the stories they recounted at the United Nations were fake, including the ones they told for the benefit of President Clinton. The investigations uncovered the heroine to be an elaborate hoax who abuses helpless children for financial benefits.
At the end of the day, all the journalists that worked on the Carte Blanche expose got their due rewards. Their efforts earned them “the CNN African Journalist of the Year” award in TV.
Reports From The Guardian
In 2016, reports emanating from the Guardian said the South African supposed heroine and purported saver of abused children, Mama Jackey, has avowed that all the comments from those testifying students were mere “smudge campaign” coming from resentful former students.
Standing strongly by her words, Jackie Maarohanye maintained that she has never compelled any of her students to utter those constructed and fabricated stories
These Are Some Of The Charges Leveled Against Her
With the level of fame and popularity that Jackie Maarohanye has garnered over the years, the story of her fraudulent lifestyle came as a big shock to many people. Even though she earned all the undue accolades and popularity from supposed charitable and selflessness deeds, they weren’t enough to cushion her from the wrath of the law. She just had to answer for all the evil deeds she committed.
Once the media established that the woman was very far from what she claimed to be, the authorities had to set the wheel of justice in motion. Before long, the founder of The Ithuteng Trust found herself arraigned in court with several count charges including;
In December 2015, Jackie Maarohanye got convicted of child trafficking. According to the ensuing reports, the SA woman sold two children – a boy and a girl (barely one month old) to a childless couple. Further investigations revealed that the Mama collected the sum of R15k for each of the children.
The childless couple who got the children actually thought it was a legitimate adoption and went to do the right thing by securing the appropriate documentation. When all their efforts to get the right papers for the children failed, the couple decided to seek help from the appropriate authorities.
The only defense Maarohanye put up for this particular charge was to claim that the money she got from the childless couple doesn’t mean she sold the children.
Abduction of Minors
A 2007 report revealed that the owner of The Ithuteng Trust was found guilty of abduction. She abducted a former pupil of her school, leading the authorities to fine her the sum of R8 000 for assaulting, abduction, as well as stripping students naked in Soweto.
Running an Unregistered Orphanage
In 2010, the South African social service department noticed that Jackie Maarohanye was actually running her orphanage without taking it through the proper registration process. The school owner was promptly advised to do the right thing by registering The Ithuteng Trust but she obviously decided to neglect their advice.
The South African social service department later took the case to court, accusing the elderly woman of running an unregistered orphanage. In her defense, Mama Jackey alleged that the staff of the social service department were just jealous of her fame and didn’t allow her to register.
Considering the fact that she had been cautioned earlier, the presiding counsel didn’t buy her story at all, and she was found guilty as charged.
The school owner has also been arraigned for other charges, including kidnapping, housebreaking, assault, and arson, all involving children whom she was supposed to be helping.
Is Jackie Maarohanye Still in Jail?
All Jackie Maarohanye court proceedings were wrapped up in December 2021 when the school proprietress received a verdict of “guilty”. In turn, she got 12 years imprisonment as a sentence for the crimes she committed against humanity.
Ensuing reports later said that five years out of the 12-year sentence for Jackie Maarohanye were suspended, leaving her with seven years to go. When she eventually leaves jail, the elderly woman would be banned from any activities involving children for the first five years of her release.
Since her conviction, the owner of The Ithuteng Trust dropped out of the radar of the media and she is believed to still be in jail, serving out her sentence.
What Social Media Users Had To Say About Jub Jub’s Mother
Obviously, Mama Jackey never established a presence on social media. However, she started trending on all the platforms after her nefarious activities were exposed to the world.
Besides, Ithuteng Trust School was widely discussed and you would hardly land on any page without hearing a thing or two about the school. Most of the talks were spearheaded by the past pupils of the school who had a lot of tales to tell the world. From kidnapping to abduction, and compelling children to say things that are not true, Mama Jackey did all these and more. Below are some of the comments from social media users.
An anonymous user mentioned that she attended The Ithuteng Trust as a pupil and several things transpired at the school.
A second user @u_Chumile from Katlehong narrated how he used to put on the grey pants and blue/white shirt uniform of the school and would take a bus from Tokoza to the school every Saturday. Speaking further, @u_Chumile let on how the pupils ate KFC on the day top celebs like Oprah Winfrey and Chris Tucker visited, but before then, their lunch had always been mince and mash, supported with kotas.
According to a third user, Mama Jackey did abuse them during her days at Ithuteng Trust between 2002/2003, but she was able to grasp the positive side. The fact that she never let it affect her negatively doesn’t make it right as the experience was quite traumatic and left them with what she described as a bittersweet memory.
What Was Jackie Maarohanye’s Net Worth?
To date, the earnings and total net worth of Jackie Maarohanye have remained a mystery that no one has succeeded in unraveling. Several sources have written about the South African woman’s fortune without pinning it down to a certain amount but speculations say that her bottom-line is quite huge.
Obviously, we don’t need a crystal ball to know where Mama Jackie’s wealth came from; the founder of The Ithuteng Trust made a lion’s share of her net worth from the school. For one, she was constantly getting bullet funds in the form of donations from well-meaning celebrities all over the world. Particularly, the funds that came from American celebs were received in dollars and when you factor in the conversion rate to South African Rands, it becomes quite substantial.
Apart from generous donations, Mama Jackie was also making money illegally by giving out babies for adoption and collecting large sums of money, and also through adductions. Most of the girls who were initially perceived to be students of The Ithuteng Trust were just her personal enrichment project.
Who Was Jackie Maarohanye’s Husband and Why Did They Divorce?
Jackie Maarohanye’s husband was revealed to be a South African businesswoman and marketing mastermind, Sydney Maarohanye. The details of their wedding and married life are not readily available but the duo shares four children.
Notable among the children of the Maarohanye family is Molemo Maarohanye who goes by the stage name, Jub Jub.
After so many years together, Jackie Maarohanye and Sydney Maarohanye faced an acrimonious divorce that saw them battling over properties like real estate, a fleet of powerful automobiles, and a butchery. Sydney was in an interview session with Sunday World when he confessed their separation which according to him was far from amicable. He however failed to elucidate the details of their divorce, saying he prefers not to let the media in since it was a private matter.
Sources later confirmed that Sydney already left their Naturena, Johannesburg home to move into their second house in Glen Ridge, Soweto. It was also revealed that the father of four obtained a restriction order against Jackie who loves to engage in violent domestic fights, a close relative alleged.
On the issues that led to their divorce, the relative who pledged anonymity said the couple’s marriage has seen so many issues, but the stroke that broke the camel’s back was Jackie’s accusations that Jub Jub and Khumalo (Jub Jub’s wife) were making efforts to hook her husband up with Master KG’s mother.
On hearing the accusations, Sydney got incensed and was affected mentally. The worst part was that the incident happened at a time when he was making efforts to save his son from going to jail. The relative also revealed Mama Jackey and Khumalo’s feud where the elderly woman accused her daughter-in-law of cheating on Jub Jub and wanting to force another man’s child on him.
Details About Jackie Maarohanye’s Son Jub Jub
Out of the four children of Jackie Maarohanye and her husband, Molemo Maarohanye is the most prominent. Born on the 29th of June, 1980, Jub Jub earns a living in the music industry as a hip-hop artist. The musician also doubles as a media personality with popular shows like Uyajola 9/9, Uthando Noxolo, and You Promised to Marry Me under his belt.
Jub Jub came to prominence as a child star in 1991 following his participation in one popular Coca-Cola ad on TV featuring soccer legend, Doctor Khumalo. The youngster later presented TV shows like Channel O, Jam Alley, and Selimathunzi.
In 2012, the South African authorities convicted the hip hop artist of culpable homicide after he was charged with the death of four kids. On the 5th of December, 2012, Jub Jub was sent to jail alongside his close pal, Themba Tshabalala, to serve a 25-year sentence as a result of the accidental murder he committed under the influence of drugs. The children died when Jub Jub’s car rammed into them in the vicinity of their school compound.
However, his case was later appealed, reducing the sentence from 25 to 10 years. Jub Jub eventually regained his freedom on the 5th of January, 2017; his friend, Tshabalala also came out the same day on parole.
Prior to his conviction, the musician and TV host was counted among South Africa’s highest-selling rappers as his albums, My Shine and Rare Breed hit platinum status.