skip to Main Content

Celebrating the Power of Mother: The Inaugural Mothers’ Ball

With Mother’s Day in the U.K. fast approaching (10th of March), mothers2mothers (m2m) is focused on the ‘power of mother’ and how, individually and collectively, this power can be harnessed to drive change and tackle some of the biggest challenges the world faces today—in particular access to health care and a preventable health crisis. 

The power of mother in action: m2m Mentor Mother and client in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

It’s a power that we have seen in action for more than two decades, because it’s the power at the heart of our work.  m2m trains and employ local African women living with HIV as community health workers, known as Mentor Mothers, to deliver health services, education and support to other women and families in their communities. At the heart of this approach is shared experience and understanding—it’s one mother, sharing her story with another.  

Since 2001, nearly 12,000 Mentor Mothers have, together, have reached 15 million people with life-changing health services. But compared to the prevailing needs of families on the African continent, this is a drop in the ocean. More than half a billion people do not have access to the health care services they need, and lives continue to be needlessly lost to preventable and treatable diseases like tuberculosis and cervical cancer.  

It’s time to invest in the power of mother, accelerate progress against these challenges, and ensure that everyone everywhere has the opportunity to be healthy. 

The Inaugural Mothers’ Ball

That’s why, back in November, the power of mother was unapologetically front and centre as we held The Inaugural Mothers’ Ball. Taking place at the iconic London landmark that is V&A South Kensington, and hosted by m2m Ambassador Sabrina Elba, the event brought together around 400 guests with one clear ask—to invest in the power of mother and train, employ, and support m2m Mentor Mothers.   

From the speeches to the menu, to the unique and bespoke auction lots available, everything was infused with the ‘power of mother’: 

  • Babalwa Mbono on stage at The Inaugural Mothers’ Ball.

    Babalwa Mbono—one of the very first m2m Mentor Mothers in South Africa, now an m2m Spokeswoman—took to the stage to explain how the ‘power of mother’ guides our work, transforming lives to transform communities: 

“Like a mother embraces her children, we embrace the people that come to get services. Not only do we want their health to improve, we want them to pass on what they learn from us to their communities. It’s how we change the daily lives of people just like us.” 

  • We premiered a series of stunning portraits, shot by Austrian-Nigerian photographer Cameron Ugbodu, of some of the m2m Mentor Mothers. This was the result of a partnership with Dazed Media, which sought to change the aperture and put the power behind the lens—elevating the women so critical to our work and impact as art, highlighting their individual strength, beauty, and resilience.


  • The menu was designed by William Chilila of The Future Plate, and was a reflection of his unique South African, Zambian, Ghanaian, and British heritage—with the main ingredients of every dish being foods that his grandparents grew on the farm where he was raised in Zambia.

The Kingdom Choir at The Inaugural Mothers’ Ball.

  • The auction was led by Arlene Blankers from Christie’s London, and featured unique and bespoke lots centred on African and contemporary art—including “Iya Ni Wura” a  bespoke collection created for m2m by multi-disciplinary artist and designer Yinka Ilori to celebrate and honour the power of women and the impact his mother had on his life.

The evening also featured performances from The Kingdom Choir, Grace Carter, and Cuppy.


We are grateful to:

  • Daniela and José Neves, who co-chaired the host committee, and all members of the host committee who gave their time and energy to make the evening the success it was.
  • Our corporate supporters Farfetch, Tommee Tippee, Burberry, GSK, ViiV Healthcare, and Blantyre Capital who joined us for the evening.
  • Our events sponsors: Amarula for sponsoring the drinks reception and inspiring some of the delicious desserts; Amandla for providing the wine served at dinner; Mijenta Tequila for sponsoring the cocktails served at the After-Party; and Moet Chandon Impérial for ensuring champagne was poured throughout the evening.
  • Our friends at Dazed Media, Sunshine, Good Culture, Karla Otto, and Inca Event who made the evening possible.

Now more than ever is the time to invest in the power of African women to tackle the challenges facing their communities. This was the rallying cry of the evening – because we know and believe that when women lead, communities get what they need. 

Back To Top
×Close search