Kathi Scott

Kathi Scott is the Executive Director of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund UK and part of the fundraising team for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
She helped establish the UK office of NMCF UK in 1996 and has steered its extensive contribution to the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund over the past 25 years.

Born and educated in Northern Ireland, at a time when what is referred to as “The Troubles” were at their peak, she like others, had her fair share of living in a bruised nation and with few if any women leaders. She is a passionate supporter of the Integrated Education Fund in Northern Ireland and the Miss Dorothy.com Learning Programme.

In 2007, Kathi was named as a Kids Taskforce Champion with an award presented at the House of Commons in recognition of her work with children and young people in the United Kingdom.

In 2013, Kathi received the “Friend of South Africa” award at the South African Achievers Awards, and awarded as an International Ambassador for Ladies of All Nations in December 2017.

In 2019 Kathi received the Lifetime Giving Award at the South African Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Awards gala dinner, in recognition of her charitable work. She is passionate about equality and anti-racism, – and has always firmly believed that no matter what your background is – everyone is equal. From a very young age, that became her vision, to play a part in combating prejudice, discrimination and racism.

Kathi found her start button at the age of 7 and never learned how to switch it off again. She believes it is a privilege to be able to do things, to work and to earn money. Kathi has a background in media, sports management and development. She is also a volunteer and mentor for a number of UK charitable organisations. She is an accomplished speaker who is often called on to speak about a range of subjects to very varied audiences. She has contributed to several books, including “Reflections on Nelson Mandela Icon of Peace” “Purpose” by Jessica Huie MBE and other publications, and has been a regular panellist and contributor on Television.

Q&A

1. What’s your biggest achievement / Something you’re proud of yourself for?

“Remaining dignified and refusing to give up even when people take credit for your work or try to undermine you. My parents always taught me that whilst it might be nice to be important, it’s more important to be nice.”

2. What’s your biggest fear / something that holds you back?

A South African actress Dorothy Bernard once said “courage is fear that has said its prayers” Courage to me is telling the hairdresser that you don’t like what has been done to your hair.. My fear is has always been stepping out of my comfort zone. There is warmth and contentment in doing the same things that you have always done. But Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Stepping out of your comfort zone means being at peace with failing. Many cultures see failure as a negative thing. It’s not fun to experience failure, but it’s not a bad thing – it is there to keep us alive and keep us safe. I found being afraid stopped me doing things I really wanted to do. I try to turn my weaknesses into strengths. But I don’t focus on my strengths – you are already good at those. I try to develop my weaknesses so that they become part of my strength.

3. What’s your biggest contribution / Something you like to share?

“That I’ve been able to help people in many different ways from many different countries. I hope I can keep on doing that.”

Thank you for being you!

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