Youth Citizens Action Programme – Powered by Empowervate

The Team

Our team consists of a wide variety of expertise offering guidance and support on different levels and we would love to introduce them to you.

Our Trustees

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Amanda Blankfield-Koseff – Founder & CEO

Amanda Blankfield-Koseff holds a Bachelor of Business Communication from Bond University (Australia) and Honours in Communication Science from UNISA.

She has been in marketing, sales, journalism and has worked at a large South African NPO, Afrika Tikkun, before Founding and becoming CEO of Empowervate Trust in 2013.

Amanda is one the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans and is an Obama Leader: Africa. She is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist.

Her passion is developing the potential of young people.

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Pamela Hendriks – Trustee

Pamela Hendriks is an accredited facilitator and assessor. She has been in the field of Child and Youth Care for over 25 years.

She is presently working for the City Of Joburg monitoring and Evaluating ECD sites for compliance and conducting necessary in-house training for these sites.

Her passion is making sure she is making a difference in the lives of young people through Empowervate Trust and an NGO known as Women Paying It Forward and Soapbox.

Her favourite quote is: “I am because we are”

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Muhamed Arshaad Moosa – Trustee

Muhamed Arshaad Moosa has a Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting and Auditing from UNISA.

He is currently an independent financial consultant, having worked at Kiarah Chemicals CC as Financial, Human Resources and Employment Equity Manager, NPO Afrika Tikkun as Business Controller (Financial and Operational) and at WITS University – Origins Centre at a financial officer.

Arshaad is passionate about youth development as he has three young children and he sees how important this work is for the next generation.

Our Non-Executive Board

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Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut

Liezel holds Master of Commerce degree (HR, Organisational Development, Organisational Psychology), and is a registered Master HR Practitioner with the South African Board of People Practices and a Member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa. 

She has 31 years extensive experience across numerous functions, companies, countries, and most industries (including 10 years working in listed companies).

Liezel is the Founder & CEO of HCBsolutions (Human Capital Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd) – a professional services company providing business and people solutions focused on development, improvement and growth – since 2001. Liezel is also a Chairman of a Board of Directors and a Trustee of unrelated entities, and previously served on a number of professional Advisory Boards (including the Department of HRM, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of Pretoria and the HR Think Tank) and a number of professional committees.

As a mother and someone who continues to engage with youth entering the world of work and leaders in workplaces, Liezel believes it is essential to focus on developing the youth to empower them to make a positive contribution to their societies, our planet, the future world of work and our economy.

Kamohelo Kode

Kamohelo joined the nonexec board in 2023. He joined YCAP in 2014 as a Support Team Ambassador because he believed in its vision to shape and mould the future leaders of this country and as a product of the programme himself, he has no doubt that the programme will continue to have a major impact in helping creating a society of responsible and self-driven citizens. By being part of YCAP, he says “I believe I’ve become part of a life changing movement bigger than myself”. Kamohelo Kode is currently the Human Resources (HR) and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Graduate at Zimmer Biomet South Africa (Pty) Ltd with 3 years of practical experience in the HR field and 3 years of theoretical background in Human Resources and Industrial Psychology, and 8 years voluntary work experience as a YCAP Support Team member in total. His passion is in workplace relations and working with different individuals and teams to promote a healthy and progressive working environment as well as influencing the HR field and the labour space positively. He has a Bachelor of Social Sciences (majoring in Psychology and Industrial Psychology) degree from the University of the Free State (UFS).

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Leon Langa

Leon has a B Compt Hons and CIMA (management) qualification from UNISA.

He is the CEO of FITA Consultancy. He has worked as CFO at SKX, Director at Foodbank, head of finance at PSI (SFH). Leon has over 12 years of senior executive experience in management and leadership positions and has had extensive exposure serving on unlisted company boards, particularly with owner-managed teams and different Public Institutions such as Central Energy Fund (CEF). Gauteng Department of Treasury and Hospital Boards. He has served on Audit, Risk, and Compliance committees.

Leon is currently a Member of The Board and Chairperson of HR, Social and Ethics Committee of iSimangaliso. He has also been Chairperson of different Institutions in both Private entities and Public Entities such as CEF, Energy and Various Hospitals. He has been the Director of various companies and held senior roles at Investec Private Bank (PTA), BHP Billiton (Mpumalanga Mines), SKX Auditors, Foodbank SA, and PSI International (HSF).

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Lyle Malander

Lyle is a qualified Chartered Accountant who completed his articles at a big 4 audit firm in 2012 and is a co-founding director of the Malander Group. His passion for making a difference is the reason he currently serves the co-chair of the South African FinBiz2030 committee, an initiative pioneered by Chartered Accountants Worldwide and One Young World, aimed at mobilising the finance and business community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

In October 2015, he left corporate employment to form the Malander Group, a Group of which he currently serves as Executive Director. The Group consists of the following entities:

  • Malander Advisory, a Chartered Accounting and Financial Advisory firms who work with many large and listed entities within South Africa;
  • Malander Placements, a recruitment firm with a core focus on finance recruitment, as well as IT and Legal recruitment;
  • M-inent Solutions, a SMME focused accounting, recruitment and Digital marketing firm.

Lyle has been instrumental in the establishment and growth of the Malander Group, which has also expanded into the United Kingdom.

In 2018 Lyle was named the winner of the SAICA Top 35 under 35 competition and in 2019, he was named the Young Professional of the Year in the South African Professional Services awards.

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Lorraine Mekwa

Lorraine’s qualifications include an MBA from GIBS, Post Graduate Diploma in Management and BSc in Mathematics and Physics from Wits University.

She has enjoyed a 15-year career in Financial Services in both London and Johannesburg. Her experience includes business development, equity derivatives sales, trading, investment consulting across traditional asset classes and private equity.

Lorraine’s key skills and achievements are:

  • Specialist product knowledge: Equity Derivatives, Equities, Global Markets, Private Equity
  • Managing institutional client relationships and general stakeholder management
  • Investment Consulting
  • People management, translating growth strategy into team action items Achievements
  • Growth of team budget by R10m in a mature market for the desk in 2018. Defending desk market share in 2019 in difficult trading conditions
  • 2nd place in 2017 Financial Mail awards for Equity Derivatives dealing/research
  • Awarded 3rd place for 2016 Financial Mail awards- Equity derivatives research

Awarded a South Africa’s Women Givers Awards in 2017 for community work – fundraising for tuition for University student

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Pumza Mthethwa

Pumza holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Economics) from the University of Cape Town and Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing.

With over 20 years’ experience in brand marketing, Pumza has deftly merged her traditional marketing expertise with digital marketing skills into Brandties Marketing Agency. The years spent in various multi-nationals and local organizations exposed her to innovation, strategy development and growing brands.

Throughout her career she has led and managed product introductions, brand revamps, market expansion/ business growth initiatives that extends into Southern African markets.

She is passionate about digital innovation that the world is currently undergoing and has managed to merge her traditional marketing experience with the latest 4IR marketing through continuous learning and application in various campaigns.

She believes strongly in Women and Youth empowerment and she conducts marketing/digital marketing training and workshop for Youth and Women-owned businesses.

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Sylvia Mamorare

Sylvia’s qualifications includeExecutive leadership (Corporate Leadership Council London), Diploma in project management, Hons BCom Business Management, Marketing and Related Research Strategies (UNISA), Human resource development, BCom Business Administration and Industrial Psychology (University of the North Limpopo).

She is an astute and results driven business executive, Experienced General Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the Energy Industry. A seasoned HR Specialist with more than 10 years’ experience in Executive / Senior Management level with strong focus on Operation Management, Strategic Partnership, HR Consulting, Product Marketing and Learning & Development. A professional with strong focus on strategic Human Capital management and knowledge of wider business acumen.

She has almost ten years’ exposure in Non-Executive Director Roles with comprehension of corporate business requirements and the ability to offer sound advice during the critical times of major change in the business, and to lead the implementation of corporate and business strategy. She is the director and Chairperson of Finance & Risk Committee: Institute of Personnel Management

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Tintswalo Sono

Tintswalo is a Chemical Engineer with an MBA and certificates in Project Management (PMBOK), Corporate Governance, Sales and Marketing, Development and Implementation of ISO 18001, Understanding and implementation of ISO 9001, Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt and Agile Boot Camp using Scrum Framework.

With many years of experience in finance, oil and gas industries she is a highly capable team leader with the ability to drive system level change. She combines her deep industry knowledge with experience and data to guide the design and establishment of systems, support organisational change and drive operational efficiency using Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and lean methodology.

She has a passion for mentoring staff, building relationships, and connecting the dots on big picture themes and issues in order to support holistic and comprehensive strategic planning and implementation. She is a social innovator with a specific focus on social concerns related to women and children and innovation for SMMEs. She revels in finding solutions to achieve operational excellence. She believes that people react and perform according to how they are treated.

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Rumbidzai Mashele (nee Tendaupenyu)

Rumbidzai (Askana) is a trans-disciplinary Software Product Manager with over 10 years of experience in the biz-tech industry.

Rumbidzai has a strong academic background, with degrees in Financial Accounting (UCT), Sustainable Development (Stellenbosch), and several global industry-relevant certifications. She is also a Professional Director (SA) and currently sits on 3 boards, including that of Empowervate.

Rumbidzai is passionate about using her skills and experience to support and empower African entrepreneurs. She is a occasional speaker at industry events and is a mentor to several South African youth.

Rumbidzai is also an avid traveler and loves to explore new cultures and meet new people. She is always looking for ways to learn and grow, and she is constantly seeking out new challenges.

Our Programme Managers

Elrinda Pretorius

Elrinda holds a degree in Biblical Counselling and Psychology and an Honours degree in Theology.

She was is teacher, a consultant and is a mompreneur with a great fondness for the underdog. She believes education is the way to change our future and through empowerment we can supply the tools.

Her passion lies with children and youth and she loves to manage all the wheels behind the scenes.

She believes in individuality and to embrace what makes each of us different.

Our Ambassadors

Mbalenhle Mdhluli started supporting Empowervate in 2016 after she attended thee YCAP annual National Championships as she was working at Deutsche Bank South Africa Foundation who were funders for 10 years from the creation of YCAP. The event inspired her to get involved in empowering the learners, who are the future of South Africa, in her personal capacity. 

She says, “Initially I joined to impact the learners and over the years the students have impacted me more than I could have imagined. They have poured into my soul and encouraged me to be the best version of myself. I support this organisation because they are  solution oriented  and are taking action in making our country a better place.”

Mbuyiselo Vilakazi is a social entrepreneur, published author of Primed Up-a Survival Guide of Starting a new life at a Tertiary institution. Mbuyiselo has a Masters in Intellectual Property from UCT (2022) and he completed his LLB at UKZN. He is also a digital content creator. A young man from the villages who had made it against all odds. He is the Founder of EnableSA a non profit company that seeks to help young people maximise their potential. He has been a YCAP support team member for 10 years.

Bokang Montjane-TshabalalaCatherine Hill Gugu Motsei Jennifer Charlton Judy Moritz
Julius MojapeloKatie AndrewsKudzai ShokoMbalenhle MdhluliNkosinathi Mahlangu
Pili Twala TauRumwell MabundzaSarie HomanWandile CindiXolani Sampies

Support Team

Support Team Managers

Thabang Monyeki is from the North West province. He joined the YCAP Support Team after he experienced how life-changing it was when he was a YCAP participant in 2016, and wanted to mentor, nourish and uplift the next generation of YCAP participants. He has a Diploma in Management, is currently studying a PGCE and also the Chairperson of the Rock of Hope Foundation. He says YCAP helped him change from being an introvert who didn’t like to participate in any extracurricular activities to becoming a sociable and outgoing person learning to engage with as many vast and diverse people as possible. He says “Being part of YCAP-EMPOWERVATE is giving me the privilege of helping individuals who are also in need.” In May 2023, Thabang was nominated to be co-manager of the support team.

Rose B. Moerane is the holder of B.Ed Honors in education Policy and Management from University of Pretoria. She is a teacher by Profession. She is also an ambassador for GDE content platform. Rose is a Pastor and recording artist. She is the Chairperson of High Five Mentorship Programme. She joined YCAP as a teacher mentor in 2019 and then became a support team co-manager in May 2023.

Shadi Emmelda Matjila is a young woman originally from the Limpopo province, currently residing in Gauteng. She first participated in the YCAP program in Grade 10 (2018), making it to the National rounds with her team and coming out 4th place overall. She continued her YCAP journey by becoming a learner Mentor for her school’s YCAP Team in 2019 and later joining the national support team in 2021.

Shadi joined the support team because she wanted to continue being a mentor and help learners on their journey to become active citizens, and because “I saw how much of an impact YCAP had on my school and community that I wanted to give back.”

She continues, “As a young woman who has seen and experienced hardship through poverty, it is truly inspiring and motivating to be part of a program that teaches you to create something out of the little that one has, that teaches you how to work with and for people, and ultimately that teaches you to be an active Citizen.”

She has taken part in the Future Africa Ambassadors program. She is currently a volunteer writer for Rights for Education: South African chapter, and she is a law student at Boston City Campus in Pretoria.

Support Team Members

Thabo Ntseki resides in Botshabelo in the Free State province. He studied BEd specialising in IT and mathematics at CUT in Bloemfontein, and completed a diploma in Accountancy at CPUT in Cape Town. He is currently studying for a diploma in Marketing at TIT. He is a YCAP alumnus and joined as a YCAP Support team member in 2014. He recently started working at Capitec Bank as BBC since December 2022.

Nolwethu Buthelezi joined YCAP in 2022 as an ambassador because she believed that she can make an impact in her community and in the next generation for opening opportunities for them where they can learn different set of skills and be able to work with others despite the challenges. She also wanted to empower herself by working with other people because she’s driven. She is currently doing her Diploma in Marketing at Mangosuthu university of Technology , second year. She is a member at Enactus MUT & Enactus Za. She is also a Peer helper working with student counselling unit at her university. She likes working with people and bringing about change in the community.

Kamogelo Moloto is currently studying B.Com in Accounting at the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein campus. She won the Local Arts and Media Awards in 2021 as the best poet, and the National mathematics week 3rd best poet . She was the regional best chess player in 2018 and 2019. She was the junior station commander of Mogwase Police station, North West, in 2018. She is still working on her own poetry book. She joined the Support Team because she says she “loves helping people and believes that the world would be a better place if it had more helping hands. People need to know that they are not alone in this journey of life, yes they might face the challenges alone but during that moment we will be outside the court hyping them up and giving them the support and energy they need.”

Lesedi Masela is a candidate in a bachelor’s degree in music at the University of the Witwatersrand and is a candidate in a Diploma in principles of vocal teaching with Trinity College London. He won the cultural boy of the year award in 2022. He invented a mathematics quiz board game which is used to teach nature of roots in a fun and enjoyable way, he further presented a wind power plan project to two ministers, namely Ms A. Motsega and Dr E. Ndlovu and the project was featured on
the GDE twitter page. He is the HOD for languages at BSTS and is passionate about literature and teaching young people English. Lesedi participated in YCAP when he was in primary and secondary school in Gauteng. He joined the Support Team in 2023 because he says, “I am driven to empower young minds and to shape the future in the country as early as yesterday”. His vim and vigour motivates him to work the extra mile to make South Africa a better place not only for the future generation but for all who live in it now united in our diversity.

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