Delta Sigma Theta Makes Its Presence Official in Southern Africa
By Chanta L. Jackson, Eastern Regional Journalist
As the old African proverb goes, “each seed waits for its time to be sowed.” Well, the delay has ended, and Chapter 1059 is here!
Chartered on April 11, 2021, Southern Africa Alumnae Chapter became the 146th chapter of the Dynamic and Historic Eastern Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. The chapter represents 17 countries including South Africa, Kenya, Angola, Lestho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Comoros Islands, Mozambique, Malawi, Seycheilles, DR Congo, Nambia, Mauritius and Madagascar.
“You are making history,” said National President and CEO Beverly E. Smith, who noted just 18 months prior she led a delegation of 63 Deltas from all seven regions on a mission trip to South Africa where the charter members served as gracious hosts. “They represented Delta very well even before they were a chapter.”
Nearly 1,500 Deltas from around the globe joined the auspicious virtual celebration to honor the 18 phenomenal women who answered the call to charter the chapter and spread “Joy in Our Sisterhood, Power in Our Voice and Service in Our Heart” throughout the Motherland.
“You have done the work and now the opportunity is yours,” Eastern Regional Director Rosie Allen-Herring said. “We will be with you on this journey.”
Delta has long had a presence in the southern region of the “Mother Continent.” The sorority provides funding to Adelaide Tambo School for the Physically Challenged in Soweto; underwrites Training Resources for Early Education in Durban, South Africa that provides educators professional development to ensure toddlers reach their full potential; and supports I CAN FLY International in Kenya, which offers life-changing opportunities to rescued youth living in impoverished villages.
However, the sorority perhaps is best known for its support of Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital in Kenya, which provides prenatal and postnatal care, child immunization, family planning, and educational services, and for establishing The Delta House in Vashti Village in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) as a home for children who became orphans due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
“Our Founders had no idea of the places we would go,” 24th National President Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre said. “God bless the work that has been assigned to you to do.”
In addition to the chartering ceremony, festivities included special greetings from former expatriates and current and past regional and national leadership. Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, 22nd National President facilitated the chapter’s first meeting and officer elections. Inaugural President Sherida Stevens greeted attendees virtually from Johannesburg, South Africa, noting her chapter’s eagerness to witness its decade-long vision become a reality.
“We are thrilled so many of our beloved sorors are here today helping us celebrate this chartering,” said Stevens, who was delighted five of the sorority’s national presidents attended the chartering. “We are honored and humbled for the trust bestowed upon us.”
Stevens dedicated the groundbreaking events of the day in memory of Honorary Member Winnie Mandela, an anti-apartheid activist and wife of Nelson Mandela, the nation’s first president. The day was extra special as attendees paused to celebrate beloved Charter Member Charlotte Fuller, who turned 90 that very same day.
To date, Delta’s international family of chapters spans across borders and oceans to include the Arabian Gulf, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Virgin Islands, and now Southern Africa!
The last international chapter the sorority chartered was Oct. 31, 2020 in the Arabian Gulf. By continuing to evolve and expand its footprint, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will remain relevant in local and international spaces for decades to come.
By Chanta L. Jackson, Eastern Regional Journalist As the old African proverb goes, “each seed waits for its time to be sowed.” Well, the delay has ended, and Chapter 1059 is here! Chartered on April 11, 2021, Southern Africa Alumnae Chapter became the 146th chapter of the Dynamic and Historic Eastern Region of Delta Sigma …