*The mission of Shared Interest – investing in South Africa’s future — is to mobilize the resources for South Africa’s economically disenfranchised communities to sustain themselves and build an equitable nation.
“We help to unlock South Africa’s own abundant capital and move the country’s banks beyond their comfort zone, to lend to the black women and rural poor they once considered ‘unbankable,’” explains Donna Katzin, Shared Interest’s executive director.
Each year, Shared Interest, the pride of South Africa, presents an anniversary awards dinner to reward those who share its goals. On Monday, March 22, 2010, Shared Interest held its 16th anniversary awards dinner at the beauteous Gotham Hall. Sandra Bookman, anchor, WABC-TV Eyewitness News, served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
Festively dressed guests, blithe in spirit, hobnobbed with VIPs and the evening’s honorees at a convivial cocktail party followed by a delectable dinner and dignified program that featured an exhilarating performance by Juxtapower.
Veteran South African photographer, Dr. Peter Magubane, was the main award recipient for his important role in documenting the atrocities of Apartheid and South Africa’s transition to democracy.
The evening’s other honorees included Dr. Peter Magubane, documentary photographer; The Nielsen Company, world leader in marketing and media information; and Timothy Smith, senior vice president, environment, social governance group, Walden Asset Management.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and H.E. Ambassador Baso Sangqu, South Africa, served as honorary dinner chairs. Andrew Cawood, Lorraine Hadfield, Diane Johnstone and Toni Petra served as honorary co-chairs.
Jean Bond, writer, editor and political activist, actor Danny Glover, Vincent Mai, AEA Investors, and Susan L. Taylor, founder & CEO, National CARES Mentoring Movement, served as Next Decade dinner committee co-chairs.
Other participants in the success of the affair included Champions’ Circle: The Nielsen Company; Leader of Vision: BET International and Johnson & Johnson; Advocate for Justice: Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs; Partner in Development: City University of New York and Anne and Vincent Mai.
And Catalyst for Change: Alan Altschuler, Barclay’s Capital, Lauretta Bruno, Church World Service, Inc., Anne Hess and Craig Kaplan, Daniel and Fay Levin, Marco, Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Pfizer, Robert Brooks Zavin Associates, United Methodist Church General Board of Global Ministry, United Methodist Church: The Women’s Division, and Walden Asset Management, Zephyr Management
Also Visionary Supporters: The Calvert Group, EMC Corporation, Inverness Counsel, Pax World Management Corporation, Karen Ranucci and Michael Ratner, and The Sunflower Foundation.
Shared Interest is a non-profit investment fund established 15 years ago to enable U.S. investors to participate in South Africa’s democratic and equitable reconstruction after apartheid.
Shared Interest uses the funds it raises from investors to partially guarantee South African bank loans to entrepreneurs, microfinance institutions, and cooperatives in economically disenfranchised communities.
It works with its South African partner, the Thembani International Guarantee Fund, to place, monitor and mitigate the risk of its guaranties – and to broaden the lending practices of South African banks.
Since inception, the organization has helped its beneficiaries create more than 400,000 small and microenterprises, build and refurbish more than 100,000 low-cost homes, and obtain more than 1.6 million jobs. Not one of its investors has lost a penny of interest or principal.
“We feel that partnerships are about creating new human beings who share knowledge, share respect for each other, share in the outcomes of projects… We want people to participate in that effort – to share their interest, to share their resources,” stated one of the fund’s staunchest supporters, Danny Glover, co-chair, African Century Challenge. (Photos by Bennett Ragin)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.