Jade Jacobsohn is responsible for the scale-up phase of the Nal’ibali campaign, working with the management team to provide strategic direction for campaign partnerships and growth. She is a seasoned anthropologist with research experience in South Africa, Uganda and Malawi, and has a solid grassroots background in the Eastern Cape as founder and Programme Manager of the Sophakama Community Partnership. She has managed various educational projects, specifically focused on early childhood development and environmental education within economically deprived areas, and has worked closely with Anglo American, Takalani Sesame and Food for Development. Her academic qualifications include a BSocSci (Hons) in Anthropology and Environmental Science from Rhodes University, and an MSc in Anthropology, Environment and Development from University College London.
Meet the team behind the Nal’ibali magic! Based across the country, each one of these individuals works to bring the power of stories to as many South Africans as possible. From the Communications gurus, to the Programmes heroes and Operations wizards, we’re a diverse team of passionate people - from all walks of life, and with all kinds of stories.
Ben has a BA degree from Stellenbosch University, a postgraduate diploma in account management from AAA School of Advertising and a certificate in Business Management from the Chartered Institute of Business Management. He has 17 years in the marketing and communications arena, five of which were spent living and working in Australia. His integrated 360° marketing skill set includes through-and-below-the-line advertising, design, direct marketing, digital and CRM.
Ben has always wanted to use his extensive corporate experience to get behind a real cause in the NGO space. Reading is something that has always been close to his heart, which lead him to join the Nal’ibali team.
After completing her Honours degree in Psychology at the University of Cape Town, Malini Mohana trained as a counsellor at the Kenilworth Clinic’s addiction unit. She has since worked as a content producer and writer at a leading independent digital agency in Cape Town, and is a freelance writer and columnist. Malini has a special interest in the neuropsychological processes of writing, as well as in the impact of literacy on human rights and gender dynamics.
Having worked on the Nalíbali reading-for-enjoyment campaign since its inception in 2012, Sally not only understands the ins and outs of social marketing, she is well versed in designing and delivering both provincial and national marketing campaigns. Recognising the important role that community media can play, she is also expert at establishing and nurturing these relationships to bring about maximum benefits for both the media and the brand. Having cut her teeth in public relations at Cape Town’s biggest advertising agency, her passion for reading and community upliftment has placed her at the heart of her biggest passion: children’s literacy.
Luleka grew up in Alice, Western Cape. She has been an avid reader all her life, and believes that reading for enjoyment helps people to get new information and explore worlds outside our own. Not only is she an important part of the Nal'ibali team - connecting with people across the country on literacy issues - but she's also currently studying to be a social worker.
Babalwa is a qualified artisan, and Diesel Electric Fitter. Having worked in various industries, Babalwa's many skills have led her along an interesting path to Nal'ibali. Her passion for multilingual literature and reading inspired her to join the team. She loves working with children and is enjoys engaging with people across South Africa to help them bring the joy of reading and stories to their homes and communities.
Abigail Smith graduated from UCT in 2004 with a BA (Hons) in History and Film and a postgraduate qualification in Marketing Management. Following a short career in advertising and events management at Ogilvy, Abigail took a leap of faith and entered civil society to work in HIV/AIDS treatment, literacy and programme management. Since 2008, she has worked with various local and international NGOs, such as Community Media Trust, Grassroot Soccer, PCI and The Western Cape Network on Violence Against Woman. An activist at her core, Abigail believes in the power of education and literacy to be the game-changer South Africa needs.
Laylah Hoofd has certificates in Tender Procedures, Customer Care and Provisioning Administration. She manages the Nal’ibali Newspaper Supplements distribution list and the campaign’s financial administration. Laylah has more than 10 years of experience in the book publishing industry and has a great passion for books and reading.
Venetia Naidoo provides general support to Nal’ibali’s projects and human resources. She has a long history of involvement in alternative education projects in Cape Town, primarily in administrative and support capacities.
Este joined Nal’ibali in September 2016 to drive the recruitment and human resources function. She qualified with a BA Industrial Psychology degree from the University of Stellenbosch and has more than twenty years’ experience in the processes and the complexities of recruiting for organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sector.
The majority of her experience was gained working as an Executive Recruiter with the Social Care and Health Sector in the United Kingdom as a partner for a niche public sector recruitment business. She joined Deloitte’s Cape Town office shortly after her return to South Africa in 2014.
She is absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to apply her considerable business skills within Nal'ibali.
Thulile joined the Nal'ibali team at its inception and has led its ever expanding programmes department since. Managing a large team spread across the country, Thulile has exceptional communications and management skills and is always seeking to development her team for greatness. She has more than 15 year's experience in the development sector and is currently studying towards a post-graduate diploma in public management.
The Nal’ibali programmes team train and support individuals, organisations, community members, reading club coordinators and volunteers to inspire the start up and running of effective reading clubs, and provide tools and materials relating to storytelling, reading and writing to incorporate into existing reading clubs or other programmes. Programmes engage with face-to-face interaction, events and activations to inspire and motivate communities to embrace celebrate a culture of reading and storytelling.
Tholisa Matheza previously worked as Children’s Literature Programme Coordinator at the Centre for the Book, driven by a love of reading and the desire to find ideas to tackle children’s low achievement levels in literacy in schools. She has seven years of experience as a primary school teacher, teaching Maths, Science and English.
Mzwandile Shakespeare Dwangu
'Shakes' Dwangu is the Nal’ibali National Systems & Administration Coordinator. He has more than 20 years in managing social development programmes involved in youth development, training and facilitation and enterprise development training. His previous roles are Resource Centre Coordinator at the Council for Black Education and Research Trust, Youth Development Programme Manager at Catholic Welfare and Development, Social Development Manager at The Big Issue, and National Trainer at Hand in Hand Southern Africa. In early 90’s, he studied at Ubuntu Social Development Institute specializing in Social Action, UCT and hold a certificate in Adult Education, UWC and majored in Sociology and Public Administration. Shakes is passionate about creating conditions for social change and development in South Africa.
A self-proclaimed Soweto-boy, Bongile Mtolo also spent much of his childhood in the Eastern Cape. He studied Project Management with the IT Education and Training Institute. Bongile worked for loveLife for seven years, three of which he was Regional Manager, and was with Activate as a provincial manager. He joined Nal’ibali because he saw the campaign as a vehicle that could effect change in the children of his community.
Bongani Godide recruits and inspires teachers and caregivers to be part of his community projects, which increase sustainability and reach in his province. Bongani has experience as an actor and professional storyteller, as well as a passion for developing literacy. He is full of exciting and innovative ideas for sparking a love of stories in small communities, such as the Read a Story to a School Near You project, which invites ordinary people who can read and write to visit a local school or library and read aloud to a group of children.
Kamohelo Ramaipato is a Social Science graduate from the University of the Western Cape, where he majored in Anthropology and Sociology. He has a keen interest in the sociocultural and socio-economic development of communities through literacy and artistic development. He is the co-founder and co-owner of the new, up-and-coming Motswako, a magazine of youth writing and visual art. Kamohelo is also a mentor to many young aspiring writers, and spoken word and visual artists, as well as an events organiser and manager.
Malusi Ntoyapi is an initiator and core facilitator of the Kwa-Faku Vulindlela Reading Club with youth from the community of Lower Crossroads in the Cape, and a mentor to community volunteers. He has a degree in Social Science and Linguistics from the University of the Western Cape, and a certificate in Community Storytelling from The International School of Storytelling. Malusi is passionate about the use of stories in social development.
Malusi Puwe is an Eastern Cape Literacy Mentor for the Nal’ibali Campaign. Malusi comes from a training and development background. He joined Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa (PPASA) in 1998 as a peer educator. He was trained on Sex and Reproductive Health matters by PPASA. He was employed as a RHS Youth Educator, which allowed him to continue with his passion of youth leadership. He later ran a successful Million Voices Programme and was also very influential in creating a ‘loveLife culture’ within the community of Motherwell, and worked as loveLife regional programme leader from 2006.
Marilyn Cupido is a graduate of the Goldfields FET College at TOSA, Welkom, specialising in the field of Early Childhood Development, as well as an Assessor and CAPS certificate holder. She gained 10 years of experience as a Grade R practitioner before joining Nal’ibali. Marilyn is a keen reader and writer, and believes that giving children the power to express themselves in writing can change their lives.
After studying at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Nkosingiphile Myeza started a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) with modules in Child Development. Nkosi is driven by a love for children, stories and community involvement. Her goal is to improve all rural areas and fight, with Nal’ibali, against language barriers in our communities.
Ntombizanele Mahobe has worked for PRAESA since 1998. She has many years of experience as an early literacy teacher and community trainer in biliteracy development, doing research, writing and translating children’s stories, and telling stories. She is one of the founders of the Vulindlela reading clubs, and mentors community literacy volunteers. Ntombizanele is also a trustee of the Little Hands Trust.
Righardt le Roux
Righardt le Roux has worked extensively in the education sector and in libraries. Best known for his entrepreneurial and innovative skills in ‘taking libraries to the people’, he is a past recipient of the UJ Mardene Marais literary award. He has also won a multitude of awards for his community work with children and libraries in fostering a culture of reading. His holistic approach to connecting libraries with civil society further won him an award as the only South African librarian in the Accumons worldwide competition for the Most Inspiring Librarian in the World.
Portia Daniso studied Media and Journalism at Achievers Business College, and in 2010 studied for an ECD Level 5 Higher Certificate at the College of Cape Town. Wanting to know more about early childhood development, in 2011 she then enrolled at Unisa for her BEd degree in Foundation Phase. Her interest in developmental psychology and literacy has seen her work in mainstream as well as Montessori education.
Thanduxolo Mkoyi holds a certificate in Project Management, Community Development and Leadership with Activate! Change Drivers. He joined Nal’ibali as a volunteer, and worked his way up to realise his goal of becoming a literacy change-maker. Thandu’s love of stories and his commitment to bettering communities is what inspires him.
Thotyelwa Monica Kewana
Thotyelwa Monica Kewana has over 10 years of teaching experience working with community centres and Montessori schools. Thotyelwa studied Early Childhood Development at the College of Cape Town before putting her practical skills to use at Nal’ibali. Her love for children and community development is what drives her every day.
Born in Johannesburg and bred in Mdantsane, East London, Thulisa Mayekiso previously worked as a library volunteer and as a peer educator with OIL, a programme in partnership with GOLD. Thulisa studied for a BA at the University of the Western Cape, majoring in Psychology, Anthropology and Sociology. She joined Nal’ibali because she is passionate about the future of our nation and believes that reading is the first step to a brighter future.
Sithembiso Nhlapo holds a BA degree in Sociology and Psychology from Unisa. He has experience working at the Community Literacy and Numeracy Group (CLING), and worked for Khanya College as an organiser at the Jozi Book Fair (JBF). Sithembiso is passionate about contributing positively to a reading movement, and his biggest desire is to see the future generation of this country become powerful readers.
Thabisa Nomkhonwana finished high school in Langa and studied teaching at St Joseph’s College. She joined Nal’ibali because of her personal love of stories and her drive to create a better world for her brothers and sisters. Thabisa believes in being the change we want to see in the world, and maintains that changing attitudes starts with modelling the right kind of behaviour and providing the right kind of support.
Chibi joined Nal’ibali from Amnesty International South Africa in November 2016 to drive the finance function. He has more than twenty-five years’ experience from a banking, manufacturing and NGO background. He has also previously worked for other International NGOs such as Humana People to People and the Read Educational Trust.
He holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science (BCompt) from the University of South Africa, a Graduate in Advanced Taxation Certificate from the University of Pretoria and is a member of the South African Tax Professionals.
Buhle completed her matric in 2010 and is completing her last year of a BCom in Accounting with the University of Western Cape. She also holds a Pastel certificate and enjoyed her experience in the NGO space after working as an office assistant in her previous work. She is passionate about music and reading books, which lead her to the Nal’ibali team.
Nisbert joined Nal’ibali in March 2017 and forms part of the Finance team where he provides direct support to the Head of Finance. He holds a BCom (Hons) in Finance and he is currently studying with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(CIMA).
Before joining Nal’ibali, Nisbert gained immense experience in the not-for-profit sector in USAID funded organisations, including National Association of Child Care Workers and the Norwegian Refugee Council.