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Meet the team

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.

Meet the team

Jade Jacobsohn

Managing Director

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.

Rachel Bukasa

General Manager Operations

Rachel joined us in September 2018 as the General Manager of Operations. Previously she was the Executive Director of a United Nations implementing partner organisation in South Africa. Prior to moving to the NGO sector, Rachel practiced as an attorney specialising in corporate law. She has a master’s degree in human rights and development.

Saleem Mukuddem

Chief Financial Officer - CFO

Nompumelelo Prusent

Head of Programmes

Nompumelelo Prusent has a multiform career journey sprouting from humble beginnings and different industry sectors including corporate, community development, education and training. Her career path has footprints, influenced by her work experience and academic achievements in different fields of study to mention a few (Diploma Labour Relations; Diploma Government Studies; Diploma Marketing Management (IMM); BBA Degree (Preston University); MBA (MANCOSA).  

Programmes Team

Buyiswa Motloenya

Programmes Manager, Western Cape



Mzwandile Shakespeare Dwangu

National Systems & Administration Coordinator, Western Cape




Programme Support Coordinator, Gauteng

Malusi Puwe

Literacy Mentor, Eastern Cape

Nkosingiphile Myeza

Literacy Mentor, KwaZulu-Natal

Righardt le Roux

Programme Support Coordinator



Portia Daniso

Literacy Mentor, Gauteng

Thotyelwa Monica Kewana

Literacy Mentor, Western Cape

Sithembiso Nhlapo

Literacy Mentor, Free State

Thabisa Nomkhonwana

Literacy Mentor, Western Cape

Molefe Mpesi

Literacy Mentor, Free State

Sanelisiwe Ntuli

Literacy Mentor, KwaZulu-Natal


Madoda Ndlakuse

Literacy Mentor, Eastern Cape

Pumza Ndamase

Training Coordinator, Western Cape

Salome Maluleke

Literacy Mentor, Limpopo

Abongile Davani

Literacy Mentor, Eastern Cape

Bonga Magazi

Programme Administrator, Western Cape

Mamoilwa Moreki

Literacy Mentor, Free State

Nompucuko "Hluma" Zakaza

Provincial Support Coordinator, Eastern Cape

Sibogiseni Blose

Provincial Support Coordinator, KwaZulu-Natal

Nomsa Manzini

Provincial Support Coordinator, Mpumalanga

Vanashree Pinto

Head of Content & Learning

Vanashree joined the team in January 2019. She is responsible for Content and Learning at Nal’ibali. She has extensive experience in book production and training design, having worked in the adult literacy space, schools textbook publishing and a large HIV awareness campaign. She has worked previously at NGOs including Project Literacy and the New loveLife Trust. She brings to the team her insights in working within the SETA environment. Her academic qualifications include a BA degree, Honours and Higher Diploma in Education. 

Content & Learning Team

Arabella Koopman

Multilingual Content & Curriculum Specialist

Arabella conceptualises, develops and manages the multilingual reading and literacy-support materials of the campaign, and assists with the develop of literacy training material. She is a published author and publisher with more than 23 years writing and commissioning experience. She holds particular expertise in children’s literature, textbook development, and the development and suitability assessment of books and other reading materials intended for use in multilingual settings. Arabella has a special interest in developing and researching materials that support and extend children’s literacy. She holds a Master's degree in Education, specialising in literacy acquisition in multilingual settings.

Ben Rycroft

Head of Communications

Ben joined the Nal'ibali team in June 2016. He has a BA degree from Stellenbosch University, a postgraduate diploma in Account Management from AAA School of Advertising and a qualification 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 CRM, direct marketing, through-and-below-the-line advertising, design and digital. An avid reader, Ben also enjoys running, travel and socialising. 

Communications Team

Sally du Preez

Senior Communications Officer

Babalwa Luhabe

Traffic & Production Coordinator




Petunia Thulo

PR & Events Coordinator

Akhona Jonas

Digital Coordinator

Thembela Ntongana

Community Manager

Chibi Chauruka

Head of Finance

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.

Finance Team

Buhle Delo

Account Assistant

Godfrey Mandizera

Finance Assistant

Katie Huston

Head of Research & Innovation

Katie heads up research and innovation at the Nal’ibali campaign. Before joining the team, she spent three years supporting and learning from education champions as a portfolio manager at the DG Murray Trust. She’s also worked at the South African Education Project (SAEP); co-authored two ‘economics for dummies’ books; and represented South Africa at the Ultimate Frisbee world championships. A Marshall Scholar, she has a BA in Journalism (University of Massachusetts Amherst), an MA in Global Political Economy (University of Sussex), and an MSc in Social Anthropology (London School of Economics).

Research & Innovation Team

Luleka Bara

Monitoring & Evaluation Assistant

Kayin Scholtz

M&E Specialist

Nozipho Bonga

Data Capturer

Zinhle Nkosi

Monitoring & Evaluation Manager

Este Buchholz

Head of Support Services

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 sectors. 

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.

Support Services Team

Laylah Hoofd

Support Services Supervisor in Administration

Gugu Zondi

HR Generalist

Sayeeda Rawoot

Travel Coordinator

Story Powered Schools

Story Powered Schools is a pilot project bringing the Nalíbali reading-for-enjoyment campaign’s proven approach to literacy development to select rural schools in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.


The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA)

PRAESA, the co-founder and anchor partner of The Nal’ibali Trust, is an independent research and development unit affiliated with the University of Cape Town.