Picture: Siya Kolisi/Instagram

In his first act as a MTN SA brand ambassador, Siya Kolisi, South Africa’s Rugby World Cup-winning captain has pledged his support of ChildLine’s “Smile a Rainbow” initiative which sees the distribution of 20 000 protective masks, sponsored by MTN, to underprivileged primary school leaners across the country.

ChildLine offers protection for children from all forms of violence, and especially during these challenging social and economic times that have been worsened by the COVID-19 virus. The ChildLine masks are labelled, on the inside of the mask, with the ChildLine contact number.

“We want to drive awareness of the crucial services that ChildLine provides, and we want to do so directly with the children themselves. Children need to know that help is only a phone call away so while the masks will protect them from the COVID-19 virus, the masks are also the constant access point for more help via our support line,” says Lynne Cawood, Director at ChildLine Gauteng.

Siya shared a video message with the children, via MTN’s social media channels, encouraging the children to stay safe and to be aware of the help that is available through ChildLine. 

“I am thrilled to be part of this ChildLine project with MTN. ChildLine do the most remarkable work and I am looking forward to doing many more amazing projects with MTN, in the coming years,” said Siya.

“MTN believes that everyone deserves access to a modern connected life and that all South Africans need to be empowered with opportunities to stand up for themselves. Our support for the ChildLine ‘Smile a Rainbow’ campaign speaks true to what we believe – we want to ensure children are empowered to be able to ask for help when they need it,” says Nomsa Mazibuko – General Manager: Brand and Communication at MTN South Africa

She added that while MTN’s sponsorship of the Springboks means Siya has always been a part of the Y’ello family MTN is proud to take that one step further by welcoming him as the brand ambassador. 

“The brand partnership with Siya is a natural fit for MTN, he is a wonderful role-model for young South Africans, so we wanted to do something meaningful and impactful to announce this brand ambassadorship, which is why we partnered with ChildLine. Our Rugby World Cup captain embodies our MTN values of integrity, leadership and innovation and we look forward to collaborating with Siya to enhance and grow the positive influence he has in our country,” said Nomsa.

MTN is proud to have also donated R460 000 to increase Childline’s capacity to assist vulnerable children, their families and communities on the 24/7 Toll Free Help Line 08000 55555.  Since the national lockdown ChildLine has captured over 95 000 calls on their data system, about 19 500 of these calls are Covid-19 related queries.