Speaker profiles

RUSSELL ALLY (Mr)
Chair: of Board of Trustees, Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement

Dr Ally is responsible for the formulation, implementation and monitoring of all strategic and operational activities regarding UCT's development and fundraising endeavours. These include strengthening donor and alumni relations, developing fundraising and capital campaigns and bequest programmes and tapping into philanthropic and corporate social investment goals of foundations and corporate in Africa and abroad. DAD is tasked with ensuring that fundraising strategies yield adequate resources to achieve the university's mission at a time when higher education funding streams face significant risks.

Before joining UCT in August 2013, Dr Ally worked at the Ford Foundation as the Programme Officer for Southern Africa, managing their governance and civil society work in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. He has also held the position of Country Representative and Executive Director of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in South Africa and worked for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Dr Ally served on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Human Rights Violation Committee, chaired by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

A UCT alumnus, Dr Ally started his career as a history teacher at the John Bisseker Senior Secondary School in East London. He obtained his Masters at Rhodes University and a Doctorate from Cambridge University, both in History. He then worked as a senior history researcher at the University of the Witwatersrand where he served on the Senate and Council. He was also the founding chairperson of the Academic Staff Association.


 

YUNUS BALLIM (Prof)
Vice-Chancellor, Sol Plaatje University

Yunus Ballim holds B.Sc., M.Sc. and PhD degrees in civil engineering from Wits University. After six years in the construction industry, he was awarded the Portland Cement Institute Research Fellowship based at Wits in 1989, was appointed as a lecturer in 1992 and he currently holds a personal professorship in Civil Engineering at Wits. He was the Head of the School of Civil & Environmental Engineering from 2001 to 2005. His research is mainly in cement and concrete materials science and he has published around 80 peer-reviewed articles in this field. He holds a National Research Foundation rating as a researcher and has done so since 1994.
He served as the founding President of the African Materials Research Society and held the Bram Fisher-Oxford Fellowship in 2000. Between 2006 and 2012, he served as the Deputy Vice Chancellor - Academic and the Vice-Principal at Wits. He served two terms as a member of the Commission for Higher Education in South Africa and was Chair of the Higher Education Quality Council. He is presently a member of the Council of Umalusi, where he also serves as Chair of the Assessments Standards Committee.
In 2012 and 2013, he was the Chair of the Board of the National Institute for Higher Education in the Northern Cape and is presently the Vice-Chancellor of the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley. He also chairs the Transformation Strategy Group of USAf.


 

ZENARIAH BARENDS (Ms)
Trustee, Inyathelo

Zenariah Barends is the Chief of Staff at Independent Media (Pty) Ltd.
Historically, Zenariah was in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a body set up by the South African government to investigate human rights abuses during Apartheid. She headed up the Western Cape Investigative Unit. Zenariah also has a background in academia and education - as a researcher at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Education Policy Unit (EPU) where she conducted research into post-apartheid higher education policy. Prior to that she was a Sociology lecturer at UWC. She has also served as Chief Secretariat of the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council.
Zenariah serves as a director of the board of Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed AEEI (Pty) Ltd, where she serves on the Social, Ethics and Transformation Committee. Zenariah has a strong passion for the development of the arts and is a founder member of the Cape Cultural Collective (CCC) that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. In addition, she serves in various capacities in Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) including on the Board of Trustees of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement and the Delft Big Band.
Zenariah has a BA (Honours) in Sociology as well as a Diploma in Library and Information Science from the University of the Western Cape.


 

AHMED BAWA (Prof)
Chief Executive Officer, Universities South Africa (USAf)

Ahmed Bawa, a theoretical physicist, leads Universities South Africa. Until 30 April 2016 he was Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Durban University of Technology and before that spent several years as a faculty member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Hunter College and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He served as the Program Officer for Higher Education in Africa with the Ford Foundation and during this time led and coordinated the Foundation’s African Higher Education Initiative. Ahmed Bawa holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Durham in the UK. He served on a number of policy development teams in the post-1994 period in the areas of Science and Technology and Higher Education. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa as well as the Academy of Science of South Africa of which he was one of the inaugural vice-presidents and is a current Council member. He also served as Chair of the Board of the Foundation for Research Development, and was Vice-Chair of the board of the Atomic Energy Corporation.


 

LORENZO DAVIDS (Mr)
CEO, The Community Chest South Africa

Lorenzo Davids is the Chief Executive Officer of the Community Chest South Africa
He has been a leading voice on Development issues for the last 15 years and has a career in development spanning some 35 years.

Lorenzo is a founding board member of the homelessness magazine, The Big Issue, in Cape Town, as well as Christel House South Africa, a school offering world-class education to children from impoverished communities. He has also served on the Boards of Beth Uriel, Media Village, The City Mission World Association, The Viva Network, Beautiful Gate, Christel House, The Big Issue, The Carpenters Shop and most recently the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Community Chest. He has also consulted for various Local and Provincial Government departments on a number of Development initiatives over the last 10 years and his particular speciality lies within developing sustainable funding models for the NPO sector. In March 2016 he delivered the keynote address at the Rutgers University Post-Graduate Graduation Ceremony in New Jersey USA as well as being a contributing speaker at the launch of the Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) in April 2016 in Lagos Nigeria. He has also served on the Boards of Development Agencies in the UK, USA and Australia.

He has had his editorials and opinion pieces published by both the Cape Times, Star, Natal Mercury and Argus Newspapers and he is a frequent commentator on matters of social development. He most recently served on the team of mediators involved in the #FeesMustFall discourses at CPUT. Davids is a graduate of the University of the Western Cape.

For the last 10 years Lorenzo has played a key leadership role across various local and global platforms as a thought leader on the challenges of Development and its Impact on Communities.
In 2015 Lorenzo was listed by Prof Jonathan Jansen, rector of Free State University as one of the 15 most influential voices in the Development Discourses in South Africa today.

Since 2012, Lorenzo has led Community Chest, a donor agency which distributes funding to more than 400 non-profit organizations annually across South Africa.


 

RUSSELL DAVIES (Mr)
Director, Rural Education Access Programme (REAP)

Russell is originally from Melbourne, Australia but has lived in Cape Town since January 2006 following 6 years in London, UK. He holds undergraduate degrees in Law, Commerce and Theology, a Masters in Social Policy and a post-graduate diploma in Development Management. Following four years practising as a solicitor, Russell has spent most of his professional life in senior roles with international NGO’s in Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa. For 8 years prior to joining REAP in September 2010, he was Director of HOPEHIV, a UK based children’s charity with project partners all over East & Southern Africa.
Russell is motivated by helping others to fulfil their potential and loves cultivating the broad network of partners that makes REAP tick – staff, board members, donors, HEIs and recruiters. Outside of work, he is an accomplished musician, heavily involved in his local church and an avid sports fan.


 

SHELAGH GASTROW (Ms)
Founder and Director, GastrowBloch Philanthropies

Shelagh Gastrow, a Founder and Director of GastrowBloch Philanthropies since 2015, has been involved in the philanthropic, higher education and civil society sectors through her leadership of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement which she founded in Cape Town in 2002. She served as its Executive Director from 2002-2015.
In 2017 Shelagh received an award from the Kresge Foundation for her contribution towards university advancement, a concept she introduced to the South African higher education sector. She designed and delivered a range of programmes to strengthen university development offices and she has worked with most of South Africa’s universities to strengthen their overall advancement operations. She continues to provide this support to institutional clients in her current role as a consultant.
Shelagh has also had years of experience working with non-profit organisations and their leaders, particularly relating to organisational long-term financial sustainability. She has provided holistic advisory and mentoring services to leaders in the civil society sector, including support relating to strategy, financial sustainability and resilience, issues of accountability and the functionality of boards. In addition, she has produced fundraising tool kits, how-to pocket books related to fundraising and contributed to chapters in various publications.
Her work in the philanthropy sector has gained local and international recognition through her writings in various media, her speaking at conferences, on radio and television as well as her authorship of booklets and reports relating to philanthropy in South Africa. She has been involved in interactions with the South African government (through its Treasury and the SA Revenue Services) to encourage the establishment of an enabling environment for philanthropy, particularly in the area of tax incentives and the need to encourage the establishment of local private foundations to ensure the sustainability of the local philanthropic sector. She has also convened conferences and symposia relating to philanthropy in South Africa and has assisted individuals, foundations and financial services companies in their quest to further their philanthropic interests.


 

GHALEEB JEPPIE (Mr)
Chief Director: International Relations, Department of Higher Education and Training

Ghaleeb Jeppie is the Chief Director International Relations at the Department of Higher Education and Training. He was educated at the universities of the Western Cape and London. A recipient of the Canon Collins Educational Trust Scholarship and was also a student on the Educational Policy Research and Social Change in South Africa (RESA) programme in London.
He is a member of various national and International working committees including the South African National Commission for UNESCO.

ANDRE KEET (Prof)
Chair: Critical Studies in Higher Education, Nelson Mandela University
André worked in national human rights institutions in post 1994 South Africa before joining the University of Fort Hare in October 2008. He also spent time at the University of the Free State as Director of the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice, advisor to the university president and as Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs and External Relations. He is an acknowledged social justice researcher, higher education transformation practitioner and academic citizen. André is the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, the Chairperson of the Ministerial Oversight Committee on Transformation in South African Public Universities, former member of the Council on Higher Education, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Race, Education and Decoloniality, Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University in the UK.


 

VERONICA KING (Ms)
Chief executive Officer, Emuthini

Veronica King is the founder and CEO of Emuthini Consulting based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is a communication specialist, master facilitator and global executive coach with over 15 years’ experience. The core offerings of her training and development business is Executive Coaching, Diversity and Inclusion, Transformation beyond compliance, Unconscious Bias, ORSC ( Organisation, relationship systems coaching) and Team Development programmes.

Veronica has held senior executive positions locally, across Africa and internationally where she has earned first-hand experience, business acumen and empathy for the ever changing world of organisational systems and human dynamics.

Veronica is also a Board Director with extensive professional experience and significant executive leadership accomplishments in business. She has strong diplomatic skills and a natural affinity for cultivating relationships and persuading convening facilitating and building consensus among diverse individuals.

The value she adds to any board is her executive coaching, facilitation skills, passion for people development, transformation and encouraging inclusion in environments with diverse individuals.


 

JAMES KYDD (Mr)
Director, DevMan

James Kydd is a director and founder member of the company behind DevMan, a leading software product in the fields of institutional advancement, bursary management and corporate social responsibility. Having worked in the sector for 20 years, with most of the universities in South Africa as well as a range of schools, NPO’s and corporate CSI divisions, he is able to provide a good picture of current trends in the industry.

This sector faces growing funding and engagement demands but with ever dwindling resources. James believes that technology can help address this issue, and his special interest is in the education sector drive to grow their alumni engagement and individual fundraising as they try to reduce their reliance on the saturated corporate sector.

Outside the realm of I.T., he tries his best to beat the sedentary lifestyle with regular doses of mountain biking and travel.


 

NAZEEMA MOHAMED (Ms)
Executive Director, Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement

Nazeema Mohamed brings a wealth of experience in the area of social justice in higher education and university transformation. She has served as Director of Policy Development and Support in the Department of Education, the Coordinator of the American Council on Higher Education’s strategic planning support initiative for Historically Black Universities, Transformation Manager and Director at the University of Cape Town and the University of the Witwatersrand, and Programme Officer for the social justice and universities programme area of the Ford Foundation’s Southern Africa office. Ms. Mohamed has served on several ministerial committees in higher education. She is an experienced facilitator and trained life coach, with a Masters degree in Higher Education Management from the University of London.


 

WILLIAM MOSES (Mr)
Managing Director: Education, The Kresge Foundation

William F. L. Moses serves as managing director for The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, which supports postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The key architect of Kresge’s education programming, Bill leads the team’s continuum of domestic and international grant activities from developing program strategy, reviewing preliminary ideas, and helping grantees develop proposals or initiatives, to awarding funding and monitoring existing grants. Since his arrival at Kresge, Bill has served as a program officer and senior program officer, was instrumental in developing Kresge’s Green Building Initiative and has spearheaded the foundation’s grantmaking in South Africa.
Before joining Kresge, Bill served as executive director of The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in Rhode Island and as a senior analyst at the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a research officer at TechnoServe and held various administrative positions in Alaska’s state legislature and the federal government, including the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa.
A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Bill holds a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University. He is the author of “A Guide to American State and Local Laws on South Africa” and co-author of “Corporate Responsibility in a Changing South Africa.” He was the co-chair of the seven-foundation Partnership for Higher Education in Africa and serves on the steering committee of the Africa Grantmakers’ Affinity Group, an organization he co-founded. He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of The College Promise Campaign.


 

MISHECK MUGABE (Mr)
President, South African Union of Students

Misheck Taurayi Mugabe was born in Harare in the month of July and grew up in a family of five and studied primary and secondary education at Bumbe primary and Herentals college both in Zimbabwe. The difficulties he faced in his upbringing led him to join politics and be biased towards the working class and the struggles of the poor African people. He is a student activist, a leader and a father of one daughter.
He was elected house Committee chairman at WSU and Speaker of student Parliament at WSU in (2011), SASCO Regional Chairman (2012), President of International students (2013),WSU SRC Student services (2014), SRC President of WSU in (2015), WSU Council member (2014-2015), He was elevated to lead all universities as the SAUS Treasurer General in (2016) and he served in various higher education bodies such as HEIDS and Ministerial appointees to look at the funding for the poor and missing middle in (2016-2017). He is the current South African Union of Students President General (2019).
Mr Mugabe holds the following qualifications; National Diploma in Marketing (WSU 2012,Cum-Laude) ,B-tech degree in Marketing (WSU,2013,Cum Laude), B-Tech Degree Business Management (WSU,2015), Honours Degree in Business Management (UFH,2016), Current Masters in Business Management student (UFH, final year, 2019)

DRAMA FOR LIFE, University of the Witwatersrand
Drama for Life is a post-graduate department of applied arts, arts therapies and arts research based at the University of the Witwatersrand. Drama for Life is dedicated to investigating and innovating transformation and healing through the arts in development, education and therapies. The department consists of a rigorous professional, academic and research programme as well as creative research projects, community engagement projects, and international projects that focus on 1. Building democracy in a post-democracy era; 2. Enhancing diversity through arts-based methodologies; 3. Developing critical reflexive pedagogies for higher education; 4. Exploring African contemplative practices, Mindfulness and other spiritual philosophies and practices for the purposes of higher education.


 

ZWAKELE NGUBANE (Mr)
Director: Development and Alumni Relations, Durban University of Technology

Zwakele Ngubane is currently the Director of the Development and Alumni Relations office at the Durban University of Technology. Prior to being seconded to this position in February 2017, he worked as a lecturer in the Department of Public Relations Management for the past ten years. He taught in both the Diploma and B-Tech programmes. He has also co-supervised three masters students to completion and currently supervises six masters students.
His areas of interest include youth civic engagement and the media. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the Culture, Communication and Media Studies department. His proposed PhD topic concerns the Role of Public Service Broadcasting in the Promotion and Facilitation of Youth Civic Engagement. He obtained his Master of Arts Degree in Culture, Communication and Media Studies from the same University.


 

DIANE PARKER (Dr)
Deputy Director-General: University Education, Department of Higher Education and Training

Dr Diane Parker is Deputy Director General: University Education in the Department of Higher Education and Training, South Africa. Before the joining the Department she spent 18 years as a teacher educator and academic in the fields of sociology of education and mathematics education. She served on the Board of the Health Professionals Council of South Africa, the Higher Education Quality Committee, and the Council on Higher Education. She is responsible for overseeing policy development and implementation to regulate and support the South African Higher Education System, including universities, private higher education institutions, the Council on Higher Education, National Institutes of Higher Education and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).


 

ROOKSANA RAJAB (Dr)
Director, Resonance

Dr. Rooksana Rajab is a high-achieving and enthusiastic executive with over thirty years of experience in organisational development and talent management with a key focus on strategy to implementation. She is skilled in managing major projects, in analysing existing operations and implementing the strategies and processes to cost effectively solve problems for both public and private sector entities.
Within the South African context, she works with both public and private sector clients that are keen to assist and participate in developing women leaders, the youth and entrepreneurs and to meet the objectives of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment framework for national transformation.
She has served on several boards and some of her clients are the Human Resource Development Council of South Africa, the National Skills Authority, JET Education Services and several Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), Imperial and the Mr Price Group.
She is currently a lead consultant and project manager, from concept to implementation in two large projects:
(i) Formalising the NGO sector for Education
(ii) Analysing the feasibility of a Post School Education and Training CLOUD through interoperable data systems in South Africa
She has a Doctorate in Management of Technology and Innovation and for leisure she loves to travel, hike and paint.


 

OWEN SKAE (Prof)
Director, Rhodes Business School

Owen Skae is an Associate Professor and Director of Rhodes Business School since 2010. His areas of interest are Strategic Management, Finance, Ethics, Governance and Leadership. He writes a monthly column for Leadership, SA’s top award-winning business magazine and is a regular opinion piece contributor to Business Day and the Conversation. Prior to joining Rhodes Business School he was a Senior Advisor at the Geneva based International Trade Centre (ITC), the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations.


 

ERIC THOMAS (Sir Prof)
Director, Eric Thomas Consulting

Sir Eric Thomas was knighted for services to Higher Education in 2013. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol from 2001 to 2015. He was President of Universities UK from 2001 to 2013 and Chair of the Worldwide University Network from 2003 to 2007. He chaired the Government Taskforce into Increasing Voluntary Donations to Higher Education which reported in 2004, the so called Thomas Report.
He graduated in Medicine from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1976 becoming a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in 1987 until 2001. He was Head of the School of Medicine and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton from 1995 to 2000.
He is currently Patron of The Conversation UK, Vice-Chair of the new university NMiTE, a Governor of the University of the Arts London and a trustee of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, HRH Commonwealth Study Conferences, IntoUniversity and the Moorfields Eye Charity. He is on the International Advisory Board for Ashinaga, a large Japanese educational charity.
He is married with two grown up children.


 

WILMA WESSELS-ZIERVOGEL (Ms)
Senior Consultant, Southern Hemisphere Consulting and Development Services

Wilma Wessels-Ziervogel is Senior Consultant at Southern Hemisphere and has a BA (Hons) in Organisational Psychology and an MPhil in Monitoring and Evaluation (University of Stellenbosch). She specialises in Programme Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and provides support to NGOs, the public sector and donors in the development of programme plans, monitoring and evaluation systems (using the Logical Framework Approach, Theory of Change and Outcome Mapping) and conducting evaluations. With 15 years of consulting experience, Wilma has conducted numerous evaluations across a range of sectors including education, Early Childhood Development, youth development and HIV. Wilma has led the evaluation of Phase 2 of the Kresge-Inyathelo Advancement Initiative in 2018 at four targeted Universities in South Africa.


 

UWC CREATIVE ARTS CHOIR
Njeza, Sibusiso, Music Director, UWC Creative Arts Choir

UWC Creative Arts Choir from the University of the Western Cape is made up of students from various faculties of study at UWC. The choir will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019. UWC Choir, has over the years, participated in festivals, won competitions, toured around the country and abroad. The recent achievement is a World title the choir won during the 10th World Choir Games held in Tshwane, South Africa as a first time participant. The UWC Creative Arts Choir is available for bookings for corporate, private, and state functions.