Meet the team

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.

NON-EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut

Liezel Pheiffer Blignaut holds a Master’s Degree in Commerce (Human Resources Management and Organisational Psychology), and is a member of the Institute of Directors in South Africa and a registered Master HR Professional with the South African Board of People Practices.

She is currently a member of the Advisory Boards of the University of Pretoria’s Department of Human Resource Management in the Faculty Economic and Management Sciences and the Institute of Futures Research and KR’s HR Think Tank.

Liezel is the founder and Executive Director of Human Capital Business Solutions - a company focused on providing innovative and impactful business and people solutions – since 2001.

She has 28 years’ extensive cross-functional and cross-industry corporate and consulting experience in South Africa and the Middle East. Her experience includes strategy, organisational development, leadership and team development, change and transformation, diversity and inclusion, mentorship, coaching, career development, as well as business management, compliance, development and marketing.

Liezel’s passion is to make a difference and impact wherever she can and to experience different cultures (she has explored 45 countries and lived in Qatar for seven years).

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.

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Claire Descroizilles

Claire Descroizilles has a diploma in Interior Design & Décor, is a certified coach and mentor, has a diploma in basic marketing, has a diploma in Feng Shui and Astrology, and a diploma in PR & Communications.

She has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and business owner. Having owned, managed and run more than 5 companies, she has learned what it takes to be an entrepreneur. She has worked extensively in the creative space, but has learned that it takes a variety of skills to run a business and has mastered many in order to fulfil her duties as a business owner.

Claire has also mentored for the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa, The Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship and has been a judge for SA’s top Businesswomen of the year 2018. Claire is a certified Business Coach and has mentored and coached several business owners to help them reach their personal potential. 

She is passionate about helping the youth to reach their potential through numerous outreaches and NPO projects as the youth are the future of South Africa.  She brings her extensive knowledge of running an entrepreneurial business to the boardroom table.

She is passionate about helping the youth to reach their potential through numerous outreaches and NPO projects as the youth are the future of South Africa and need all the help they can get.

 

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Leon Langa

Leon Langa 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 Malander 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 Mekwa’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 students
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Pumza Mthethwa

Pumza Mthethwa 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 Mamorare’s qualifications include: Executive 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 10 to 12 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 6-8 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 Sono 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 Tendaupenyu

Rumbidzai Tendaupenyu, affectionately known as Askana, has eight qualifications, including a Financial Accounting degree from the University of Cape Town, a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Development from Stellenbosch University and a number of industry-relevant certifications from institutions such as Wharton. She is currently pursuing her Professional Director (SA) designation from the Directors Association.

Rumbidzai has built her career around project managing initiatives across the continent that acknowledge, support, celebrate, connect and empower African entrepreneurs. In the last 5 years, she has used her skills and experience to impact over 75 businesses across the continent, through operational strategy and sustainability consulting, as well as capacity building initiatives.

The fruits of her labour include being named one of the 2020 Forbes Africa top 30 under 30. As the Founder and Managing Director of Askana (Pty) Ltd (askana.co) she provides sustainability and impact advisory services for companies in a variety of industries. Currently, she serves as the project lead for her client – Project 58, in partnership with Nirox Sculpture Park. 58 is a R200 million sustainable eco-resort development in the Cradle of Humankind which focuses on art, agro-ecology, wellness and unity.

Though she is based in South Africa, she will find any excuse to travel and discover. She has built her career around project managing initiatives across the continent that acknowledge, support, celebrate, connect and empower African entrepreneurs.

Advisory Board

Xolani Sampies

Nkosinathi Mahlangu

Wandile Cindi

Pili Twala Tau

Mbalenhle Mdhluli

Friends

Jennifer Charlton

Judy Moritz

Julius Mojapelo

Katie Andrews

Gugu Motsei

Kudzai Shoko

Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala

Rumwell Mabundza

Catherine Hill

Sarie Homan

Support Team Ambassadors

Mbuyiselo Vilakazi

Marcelino Pieterson

Simon Motshweni

Kamohelo Kode

Busisiwe Zuma

Samkelisiwe Phungula

Angella Maria Themba

Nomnotho Gumede

Thabo Gift Ntseki

Thabang Monyeki

Thandazile Mpungose

Roger Mosweu

Lihle Radebe

Nkosi Mbele

Dalson Masipa

Nomfundo Mngadi

Brilliant Mahlangu