2024 Leading for Humanity Cohort: A Catalyst for Global Change

Cape Town, South Africa (4 March 2024) – After a successful pilot in 2023, The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation is back with its second cohort of the Leading for Humanity (LfH) Programme. We are excited to be embarking on an inspiring journey with our 2024 cohort, marking a pivotal moment in fostering interconnectedness and promoting a new paradigm of human leadership deeply rooted in Archbishop Tutu’s philosophies. The LfH Programme, renowned for its commitment to catalysing ‘a million ripples’ of change, enables participants to envision and embrace a wave of possibility through human-centric leadership. The LfH programme continues to break down sectoral barriers, bringing together diverse individuals representing various sectors, backgrounds, and professions, from ages 25 – 40, to collectively explore the work of leading for humanity. This inclusivity fosters a rich tapestry of perspectives and experiences essential for addressing complex global challenges.


Central to the programme is a 9-day residential programme designed as an immersive journey, exploring recurring themes that transcend linear processes, this includes the exploration of one’s internal world, and laying the groundwork for impactful leadership in the external world. While rooted in a strong South African and pan-African context, the LfH programme boasts global appeal, attracting participants from diverse geographical locations. Our current cohort includes representatives from South Africa – Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and KwaZulu Natal, with three participants from Guinea, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America – underscoring the programme’s international resonance.
Join us in welcoming:


Aydn Parrott – Storyteller, Connector, Facilitator
Aydn Parrott is the Communications Officer for the Mayor of Mossel Bay Dirk Kotzé and believes that the unique socio-political make-up of small towns plays a vital role in new global narratives. Drawing on his work as assistant to Africa in the World Ideas Festival founder Dele Olojede, in his current role Aydn has assisted with organising cross-sectoral gatherings for local leaders. In 2023 Aydn founded the Royal Advisor Network, a platform facilitating the future by connecting emerging empathy-driven leaders in Africa. Aydn holds degrees in Media Studies and Journalism from the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University.


Bridget Hannah – Development Practitioner, Partnership Builder
Bridget Hannah is an Innovation Director at the DG Murray Trust, leading the portfolio, ‘All young people on pathways to productivity’ – believing strongly that young people in South Africa urgently deserve access to skills and support that enable them to earn an income. With an international studies background and a Masters in Health Policy, she also worked for the Western Cape Government. There her work contributed to building programmes leveraging public funds and civil society expertise to support quality first work experiences for young people, and a movement around After School Programmes focused on improving learner outcomes. Bridget is particularly interested in working to build strong, collaborative partnerships towards achieving collective impact.


Brigitta Mangale – Human Rights Lawyer Specialising in Women’s Rights
Brigitta is passionate about the enforcement, protection and development of constitutionally enshrined human rights. Her exclusively pro bono and human rights practice is primarily focused on women’s rights and women’s issues and drives strategic and impactful litigation in this space. She strives to make meaningful contributions to important social issues, which includes seeking out opportunities for mentorship and empowerment and is privileged to do so at Cliffe Dekkery Hofmeyr.


Farah Abdurahman – Political Communicator, Facilitator
Farah Abdurahman is a connector, political communicator, and passionate facilitator working towards a fairer and more just society. She co-founded Connected Development, an organisation passionate about connecting people, spaces, and places to create positive, sustainable long-term changes in marginalised communities across Southern Africa. She volunteers with the Fight Inequality Alliance South Africa as a youth mobiliser and popular education facilitator and co-convenes the youth development movement #YouthArise, a movement by young people for young people to discover their place in the world and develop a greater sense of self and community engagement.


Jael Rosa Dharamsingh – Systems Thinker, Interfaith Activist, Peacebuilder
Jael Dharamsingh works in the intersection of religion, conflict, and peace, where she has supported peacebuilding programmes in a number of contexts including Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, and Iraq. She possesses over 12 years’ experience in humanitarian and development programming specialising in strategy, impact, and systems/complexity thinking, and has designed and advised on programmes across multiple sectors including gender, protection and climate resilience. Jael is deeply committed to interfaith activism and peacebuilding, particularly interfaith and interreligious solidarity movements. She holds a BSc in International Relations and Development Studies, with her dissertation focusing on women, Islam and resistance movements. She also holds an MSc in Political Science, and an MA in theology and missiology with a focus on justice and reconciliation. Her Master’s thesis explored conceptualisations of trauma in contexts of intractable conflicts. Jael is from Mauritius and is currently based in London, UK.


Kimberly Rodgers – Narrative Shifter, Community Builder, Equity Champion
Kimberly Rodgers leads the Fostering Equity portfolio in the Center for Community Resilience (CCR) at George Washington University. In this role, she provides technical assistance to CCR’s national network of cross-sector partners, helping them articulate and dismantle structural racism as a root cause of racial, social, and economic inequity. She is also an inaugural fellow of the Culture of Health Leadership Institute for Racial Healing. By facilitating narrative change and community power-building opportunities, Kim is working to catalyse the co-creation of structural and systemic solutions that foster equity and improve community outcomes through collaborative action.


Mbali Maseko – Organisation Development Consultant
As an Organisational Development Consultant, Mbali honed her capability to work with teams throughout their development lifecycle, with a focus on strategy, leadership, culture, and diversity. Drawing from her academic and professional background in coaching and group relations, she has the privilege of enabling the growth and success of individuals and businesses. She is passionate about creating and delivering purposeful and transformative learning experiences that allow for exploration, discovery, and greater consciousness. Initiatives that challenge me to think creatively and collaboratively, while making a positive impact on society, provides her with deep personal fulfillment.


Nicola Vermooten – Advocate for Equitable Education
Dr Nicola Vermooten serves as the Managing Director of AccessEd, an NPO committed to democratising higher education. Acknowledging the impact of socio-economic factors on educational opportunities and the persistence of societal inequalities, she passionately guides AccessEd in launching and expanding university access programs globally. This endeavour, aligned with Archbishop Tutu’s vision of a compassionate and equitable world, seeks to dismantle barriers for underrepresented youth. Dr Vermooten’s acknowledgement as a Mail and Guardian 2023 Top 200 Young South African underscores her unwavering dedication and the transformative impact of her leadership, particularly in the context of higher education accessibility in South Africa.


Noma-Afrika Nkwenkwe-Maxwele – Skills Development Specialist, Community Enabler, Vulamathuba Empumelelo Manager
Noma-Afrika Nkwenkwe-Maxwele is a General Manager for Communicare’s social and development arm, Vulamathuba Empumelelo. She drives the strategic objectives of delivering socio-economic interventions to Communicare tenants and previously marginalised individuals. She has a wealth of experience as a Skills Development Specialist focusing on PIVOTAL training interventions within Post School Education and Training, community development, and expertise as a Skills Development Facilitator working with SETAs. Noma-Afrika holds a Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences and Social Services (UNISA) and a Human Resource Management certificate (CPUT). She is enrolled for her final module, BA Honours Psychology, specialising in Community and Health (UNISA).


Nosihle Dlamini – Manufacturing Enthusiast, DEI Advocate, Founding Member of Circle of Hope
Nosihle is a young leader and senior manager at an automotive OEM She holds a Manufacturing focused MBA and MCOM in HR. Nosihle is also the vice chair for the TWIMS Alumni Board, an association aimed at making manufacturing relevant again in the communities around manufacturing spaces. In addition, Nosihle is the founding member of Circle of Hope, an organisation run through a church that assists youth and older people with job searches and readiness for the workplace and is one of 3 founding members of Ignited Leaders a women, youth and leadership empowerment and transformation organisation. She is also an ambassador for the WYB organisation where leaders are coming together to be agents of change for socio-economic issues in KZN and a change Champion in the OEM where she is working, a group of individuals within the organisation that are part of the culture change.


Palesa Motaung – Co-founder of Agrikool
Palesa Mathabo Motaung is an Agri-fintech co-founder based in South Africa. She was born and raised in the East Rand of Johannesburg. She attended High School at the High School for Girls Potchefstroom and attended the University of Pretoria where she studied Geology and Soil Science. Palesa now lives in the mighty KwaZulu-Natal province and enjoys hiking and camping. Palesa is passionate about Africa and Food security. She aims to be a key player in Africa’s agricultural revolution by building sustainable food systems through her Start-up and building her network to collaborate more with other like-minded individuals. Palesa’s business Agrikool enables Agri-value chains by leveraging technology and research to provide access to markets, finance, and market intelligence to small-scale and emerging farmers. As the COO of her organisation, she ensures that operations run smoothly (as smoothly as possible) and that all data is recorded and stored appropriately. She is responsible for business development and raising capital. Palesa has a Master’s degree in Agricultural Soil Science and has dedicated her life to improving agricultural production in her country while conserving soil and water. Palesa loves reading fiction and some of her favourite authors are Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche and Roald Dahl. She is also a cinephile and loves building her profile on social media.


Saa Michel Tolno – Youth Advocate & Policy Analyst
Saa Michel Tolno is a youth advocate and policy advisor focused on Sustainable Development Goals, mentorship, and gender equality. He recently completed an Honours degree in Development Studies at the University of Johannesburg as the first Mandela Rhodes Scholar from Guinea. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from UGLC – (Guinea) and a Diploma in Theology from CWABI (Ghana). He is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Social Policy and Development from UJ and aims to advocate for young people’s and children’s livelihoods. He plans to address issues of illiteracy, inequality, poverty, and immigration in Guinea and Africa.


Sandile Tshabalala – Entrepreneur, Impact Curator, Non-Executive Director of Scouts South Africa
Sandile Tshabalala boasts many years of experience in both the public and private sectors, specialising in corporate governance, corporate philanthropy, human rights and entrepreneurship development. He holds qualifications in Corporate Governance, Board Leadership, Systems Change and Law from some of South Africa’s most prestigious universities, including the University of Cape Town, the University of Johannesburg, the Gordon Institute of Business Science and Stellenbosch University and most recently completed a post-graduate qualification in African Philanthropy at the University of Witwatersrand. He further holds a Certificate in Children’s Rights from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the Lily Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. His international experience includes research internship positions with Human Rights Watch the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute. He has held governance positions with multinationals Mazars and TMF Group and served as a Board of Directors’s Secretary for the Public Investment Corporation, where his focus was on the Board of Directors Affairs, Investment Committee and the Asset Allocation Committee with oversight of over R2 trillion assets globally.


Sanelisiwe Sibiya – Legal Advisor, National Contributor, Advocate for Education
Sanelisiwe Sibiya is admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. She is a Moshal Scholarship Program Alumni currently employed as a Legal Advisor by Nedbank under the litigation department. At Nedbank, Sanelisiwe sits on various committees to provide advisory services. She is also an active participant in the National Contributor business strategic pillar programme under Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking. Sanelisiwe is involved in initiatives aimed at higher education advocacy, transformation, and DEI (diversity, equity, and Inclusion).


Skhumbuzo Moodaley-Mpisane – Head of Programs, Youth & Community Developer
Skhumbuzo has 17 years of experience within the NPO sector, with specialisation in youth engagement, organisational strategy, and community development. He currently leads the strategic programmatic arm of enke: Make Your Mark as the Head of Programs. Outside of his professional pursuits, he is the co-founder and CEO of the Young Professionals’ League, a community-based organisation that works with University and High school youth in pursuit of academic excellence in KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg. Through his academic and professional pursuits, he is curious about how policies and laws, especially those focused on unemployment and education in South Africa, can be effectively implemented and leveraged within youth development work. Skhumbuzo holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences Degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal, a Post Grad- Diploma in Law from the University of South Africa and he is currently reading towards a degree in Public Administration offered by Regent University.


Zuko Gqadavama – Community Development Practitioner, Published Author, Research Fanatic
Zuko Gqadavama Ka Somfiyane is a South African from an impoverished background who overcame adversity through education. Despite hardship, he earned psychology degrees, equipped to uplift communities. Zuko engages in youth development programmes, guided by the principles of community engagement for development and Tata Mandela’s vision to reshape the world through education. He champions the struggles of marginalised Africans, actively bettering society through humanity and embeddedness in Ubuntu’s philosophy. My work embodies a lifelong commitment to education, empowerment, and engagement for development. Any opportunity to learn gives him another chance to lift the vessel carrying the hopes of the disadvantaged.


As we navigate the complexities of our world, let us remain steadfast in our commitment to leading for humanity. Together, we can harness the power of interconnectedness, empathy, and collective action to create a wave of possibility that transcends borders and transforms lives. Join us as we get to know them over the next few months.


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