Compassion and commitment to providing uncompromised care for the elderly is core to the work ethos that has propelled visionary, Femada Shamam to the helm of Tafta. The newly-appointed CEO is committed to providing the best quality of life for Durban’s Elders and driving the continued growth and success of the organisation.
Femada (pictured right above) takes over the reins this month following the semi-retirement of longstanding CEO, Margie Smith (left). Also pictured is Vice Chairman of the Tafta Council, Wicus Jacobs.
Through her passion improving the lives of Elders, who are often society’s most neglected, Femada has found her niche in a field that holds personal meaning and fulfilment. She began her career in 2000 as a young social worker – a role which she believed would pave the way towards realising her dream of working in the commercial sector. But she was so moved by her initial encounters working with the elderly that she became committed to the field of aged-care.
In 2003, Femada was appointed head of Tafta’s social agency and team of social workers. “The transition from working directly with the elders to managing the staff and the programme presented an opportunity to effect change in a different way. My inspiration was drawn by the successes of the staff whom I led. Their joys, their achievements and their successes spurred me on to be better and do better,” she said.
Ms Shamam later graduated with a degree in Commerce (BCom), which paired with her social work training, provided a well-balanced foundation to understand the needs of the elderly and respond with sustainable models of care. She has since assumed various management roles within the organisation culminating in her appointment as Chief Operations Officer in 2016. In this role, Femada was mandated to research, develop and implement models for efficient and sustainable service delivery.
During her 17 years with Tafta, Femada served on several local and provincial forums dedicated to lobbying for rights of the elderly. “My years at Tafta, educational qualifications and the opportunity to attend national and international conferences have equipped me with a wide range of skills and knowledge to add value to the organisation and to the lives of the elderly that we serve,” she said.
“My guiding belief has always been that a better life for the elderly is possible. I invite all, elders, staff, partners and the community at large to join me as we journey this road. Together we can achieve great things.”