The Bertha Centre is delighted to introduce its new cohort of Bertha Centre Scholars for 2017. These outstanding individuals from across Africa have the necessary experience and the energy for creating positive changes in our world.
Together, they represent our sixth cohort of Bertha Centre Scholars and a growing network of next generation social innovators and/or entrepreneurs.
His first master’s dissertation explored Music Therapy as relational health intervention for work teams in corporate environments. He has embarked on MBA studies at UCT GSB to consolidate his efforts towards incubating arts based for-profit services as alternative funding generation avenues for non-profit work across South Africa and the African continent. He harbours a deep wish to support and assist redesign efforts for improved synergy between for-profit and non-profit sectors to increase sustainability in N.G.O. industries, and he believes these are areas in which South Africans could lead a world where many countries and people face similar socio-economic and historically qualified challenges.
This work led him to be increasingly aware that it is not only the clinical services offered to patients that matter, but the service models that are used to deliver them. He became a founding member of the Spring Project Foundation, which connected with his interest in peer-led services, particularly its ability to shift traditional power dynamics between providers and users of Mental Health Services.
He decided to further these interests by embarking on an MBA while raising his first child with his wife.
John Duncan is the senior manager of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) – South Africa’s Marine Programme. After completing his M.Sc abroad in Environmental Science and Policy with a focus on the South African linefishery, John returned to South Africa to pursue a career in marine fisheries. Initially joining WWF-SA’s Marine Programme as a programme officer in 2008, John initially worked on the Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) and later managed the Seafood Market Transformation programme. He was appointed Senior Manager of WWF-SA’s Marine Programme in 2013.
He has also completed a post-graduate diploma in environmental law through the University of Cape Town (UCT). During his time with the Marine Programme, he has helped to set up the SASSI Retail Participation scheme which works with retailers to help them meet sustainable seafood commitments, and the Responsible Fisheries Alliance (RFA), an alliance made up of WWF, Birdlife and major South African fishing companies (I & J, Sea Harvest, Oceana and Viking). He has worked on a number of sustainability projects throughout the seafood supply chain, from small-scale fishers and industrial fishing companies through to the seafood restaurants, suppliers and large retailers and ultimately consumers. He sits on the steering committee of the RFA and is a member of the Marine Stewardship Council’s (MSC) Developing World Working Group. He is responsible for managing WWF-SA’s marine programmes, which include SASSI, Seafood Market Transformation and Integrated Ocean Management programmes.
Mayra Hartmann is passionate about shaping and building sustainable and inclusive cities.
She has a background in Civil Engineering and has worked as a Humanitarian Aid Worker with vulnerable groups affected by climate change and conflict in Africa and the Middle East, focusing on Shelter, WASH and DRR. She currently works at Slum Dwellers International, where she assists slum dwellers in a number of African countries transform their settlements through small scale infrastructure and housing projects, and enterprise development.
Her aspiration is to develop innovative solutions for the bottom of the pyramid by bridging the gap and blurring the lines between the formal and informal.
She plans on catalysing a true transformation of the engineering and construction sectors. Furthermore, she plans to promote the use of emerging technologies to ensure a more sustainable approach large scale infrastructure development on the African continent.
Dean Hand currently advises on all aspects of Impact Investing within the Specialised Credit team at Ashburton Investments - from capital raising to investment opportunities. This team develops funds with innovative elements to unlock traditional capital into socially impactful investments.
In her latter career, Dean led a national NGO, Foodbank SA (previously known as Feedback Food Redistribution) and was the CEO of the Greater Good group (Greater Good Trust and Greater Capital). Here she led a team that explored the practical Impact Investing arena within South Africa and globally. A few of her outputs include the development of the SA Impact Investment Network (SAIIN), the initial development of the SA chapter of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and actively contributed to the practical use of the Impact Reporting Investment Standards (IRIS) taxonomy – the category of generally accepted metrics developed by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN).
Dean regularly lectures to post-graduate students at leading SA universities on alternative income streams for social enterprises and strategic approaches to impact investment. She has an undergraduate degree in Industrial & Organisational Psychology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Marketing) from the University of Cape Town.
Kim Smith obtained a BA degree in Psychology, a BCom Honours degree in Organizational Psychology, and completed a short course on Human Rights and Democracy in Sweden. Kim’s career in community development saw her helping women grow their businesses, setting up the first Youth Café in the Western Cape as well as being involved in a number of other not-for-profit initiatives.
Kim discovered social entrepreneurship in 2008 which innovatively marries the world of social responsibility and business. She spent four years developing a social enterprise which sought to provide females with alternative menstrual hygiene products. Through the many challenges, reflections and ultimately gaining a better understanding of the issues pertaining to menstrual hygiene, Kim now works for the Department of Social Development where she drives menstrual hygiene management policy and sustainable solutions to address the need.
Kim has always been defined by her passion for social responsibility and her drive for business - often conflicting worlds. She aspires to specialize in The Capabilities Approach as her lens through which to address holistic human development.
He is also involved in developing public-private partnerships to build the capacity of small-scale farmers through working with agricultural cooperatives and farmer development programmes. He holds a bachelor degree in geology and was completing his post graduate diploma in management practice at the University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business in the year 2015.
Lulamile’s mission is to form partnerships to develop inclusive self-sustaining solutions to reverse the effects of a declining mining industry and the social challenges that this decline brings to communities surrounding mining operations and labour sending areas.
Mandisa Mbaligontsi is a communications, marketing and wellness specialist by training, she is passionate about social entrepreneurship with emphasis on the development of young woman. Having spent several years working in high end spas as a wellness practitioner and manager, she then joined the NGO sector as a senior facilitator and life coach for wellness foundation where she immersed herself in learning, understanding and finding creative solutions to complex social issues.
She currently works as a market researcher for Transnet National Ports Authority. She is a board nember and chairperson of Project Ignition, a Cape Town based youth focused social enterprise.
Neo Hutiri is the founder of Technovera, a technology start-up developing smart solutions in the public healthcare space. He has a passion for nurturing the entrepreneurial culture and is invested in the development and adoption of smart technologies in the healthcare industry.
Over 2.5 million man-hours are lost per month due to patients spending hours on queues at primary healthcare facilities. Technovera has developed a solution that enables patients to collect repeat medication in under 2 minutes instead of waiting hours. Neo has a keen interest in inclusive technologies that improves access to healthcare services.
Neo graduated from UCT with a BSc in Electrical Engineering and went on to join the steel manufacturing industry as an automation engineer. He later took up an operations management role working as a technical assistant to the COO while also completing a MEng in Industrial Engineering at Wits before venturing out into the technology startup scene in Johannesburg.
Plays she has written and co-written, directed and, or, designed have won international and local acclaim, including the Best International Production at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, Runner Up Award for Best International production at Amsterdam Fringe, panel selection for the Afrovibes Festival in the Netherlands, two Standard Bank Ovation awards, 2 Silver Standard Bank Ovation awards – and a Fleur du Cap award in her own capacity. Her particular interest is creating new South African plays and has written 6 scripts in the last 3 years – all original stories, all about and for and in praise of people from this country.
From 2001 and 2011 she ran the Learners Network, a youth organisation, and served on several Boards including the Youth Against AIDS Network and Sonke Gender Justice Network. Shamillah is currently an Advisor for the Global Fund for Women and the African Women’s Development Fund.
After qualifying as a professional coach in 2006, she started a training and development consultancy called Sowilo Leadership Solutions. In 2012, she launched Project Ignition, an initiative that develops the social, emotional and economic literacy of youth. In 2015, she won the prestigious Inyathelo Women in Philanthropy Award for her outstanding contribution towards youth development.
Shamillah is driven by the philosophy “if you can dream it, you can achieve it”. She is passionate about unleashing potential in others and is constantly striving to find new ways of thinking and doing.
With a deep interest in the rights and well being of young children, she began her career in the classrooms of Soweto in the eighties and from there moved into the NGO sector focusing specially on rights in education. Her role in the transformation of education in SA included serving on a Ministerial commission on rights in education, the development of a guide for teachers on Alternatives to Corporal Punishment and another for the SAHRC and the DBE on rights in the curriculum used to train teachers nationally and taken up by Lead SA.
Sherri served on the Forum Against Racism in Education, she chaired the Standards Generating Body for Elections, Democracy and Rights in Education and chaired the ADEA Working Group COMED. As Programme Manager for the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (1996 - 2006), she developed a whole school approach to building peace, democracy and rights in and through education, facilitated various programmes, processes and workshops in the region. As the OSISA Education Programme Manager (2007 - 2010), she supported civil society and governments to influence policy change and education transformation. She worked as international consultant to ADEA (2011) on post conflict education in Africa. She has presented at international conferences on education and more recently on ECD, she has also published a number of papers on education and currently serves on the board of ASSITEJ SA.
At 23 years, she was awarded ‘2012 Young Manager of the Year – 2nd Runner Up, Bulawayo Region’ by the Zimbabwe Institute of Management for excellence in management and leadership. Sinqobile holds the record as the youngest to have been nominated and selected. She successfully led the coordination of Zimbabwe’s nation-wide participation in the COP negotiations - COP17 - which received the ‘Best Hosting Country’ award (PACJA Caravanites).
Sinqobile is passionate about ‘trade for impact’. As a Founder of Inclusive Mobilisation & Investment of Resources in AfriQa Pvt Ltd, she is taking the initial steps to translate social innovation business concepts into profitable, high impact investments. One such concept, a focus on her MPHIL studies, is a pilot directed towards transformation of Zimbabwe’s Waste Management & Recycling Industry.
She is currently contracted by a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organisation– International Trade Centre (ITC), as a Deputy National Coordinator for a EUR2.96 million European Union financed Zimbabwe Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (TPSDP).
She started her career as a management consultant at Accenture, focusing on customer and channel strategy in telecommunications and government. While at Accenture, she co-founded Youth Lab, a policy think tank which she was managing director of from 2011 until 2015. Ndlovus is also a published writer and currently a columnist on the Business Day. Her writing explores her interests in political economy, policy and governance.
Ndlovu is a UK Government’s International Leaders Programme alumni. She is also an Honorary Member of the Golden Keys Society (Wits) for service. She was one of the Mail and Guardians Top 200 Young People for 2015 and featured on the the Finweek Magazine Top Women to Watch list for 2015. Ndlovu holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Johannesburg and and BAdmin Honours in Public Policy and Management from Stellenbosch University.
Xolisa joined the UCT Graduate School of Business PhD programme after spending two years as the Head of Southern Africa at the UN-Supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). He was responsible for coordinating and managing the activities of the Southern African network of PRI signatories, including implementation support for signatories. He was also tasked with raising awareness about PRI and responsible investment amongst institutional investors in Southern Africa as well as the rest of the African continent. In his role, Xolisa represented the PRI on the CRISA committee, The Sustainable Returns for Pensions and Society working committee as well as the ASISA RI standing committee.
Prior to joining the PRI Association in April 2013, Xolisa spent more than eight years in the South African retirement fund industry. He was previously a senior investment consultant at Independent Actuaries and Consultants, where his primary role was to provide investment advisory services to South African institutional investors. His responsibilities included liability analysis, investment strategy formulation, implementation and monitoring on behalf of institutional investors. Xolisa has also held investment consulting positions at Absa Consultants and Actuaries and Alexander Forbes Asset Consultants.
Xolisa holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics and Business Finance from the University of the Witwatersrand, a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from UNISA and a Masters in Development Finance from the UCT Graduate School of Business.
Xolisa has a keen interest in socio-economic development as well as sustainable and responsible investment practices in Africa. His community involvement includes ongoing volunteer work with the Alexandra Education Committee mentorship programme and board membership at the Sibikwa Arts Centre. In his spare time, Xolisa enjoys outdoor activities (running and hiking), travelling and performing arts.