Mamelani at a Glance

Our Team

Our Team

Gerald Jacobs


I was born and bred on the Cape Flats with lots of bredies and breyanies. The struggles of my community enhanced my resilience as I constantly searched for knowledge and skills. Youth development in South Africa needs all the positive influences it can get and I am passionate about being part of the Mamelani team who are trying to do just that. I live by the saying that "all things happen together for the good to them that love God and are called according to His purpose".

Monika Edwards

Operations Manager

I have always been passionate about community work and community development. I am a qualified Clinical Pastoral Therapist and I have a keen interest in using narrative therapy in both my therapeutic work as well as in the workplace. Before joining Mamelani, I was the director of a mental health organisation in Khayelitsha.

Carly Tanur


I founded Mamelani Projects in 2003 to actively contribute to changing people's lives for the better. I am a qualified Social Worker and have been working in the NGO sector for 14 years. I am very proud of what we have been able to achieve in the last decade. Central to my practice is a concern for how we bring ourselves to the work that we do – it as much about what we do, as it is about how we do it.


Cleopatra Sawuti

Co-founder and Health Programme Manager​

I grew up in the Eastern Cape. I am a traditional girl and I believe in and respect my culture. I love to socialise with people and build relationships with other organisations, and supporting people who are willing to change their lifestyle. I believe that to overcome challenges a person needs another person. We need to work together.

Leroy de Klerk

ProSeed Youth Development: Programme Manager

Growing up in Manenberg on the Cape Flats is the reason I do the work that I do. My experiences growing up made it very clear to me that the youth of South Africa need someone to believe in them and walk alongside them. I work as a youth facilitator in the Youth Programme, supporting young people on their journey

Thandi Blie

Co-founder and Health Facilitator

I was born, raised and attended school in a small town called Alice in the Eastern Cape. I work as a health facilitator at Mamelani, sharing knowledge with people about their health. Mentoring women from different communities through our Community Champions programme makes me proud. To empower women is to empower a nation.

Charlene Hill

ProSeed Youth Development: Youth Transitions facilitator

I always had a keen interest in working with the youth of South Africa. Through out my studies, my voluntary work involved supporting young people in various ways. I enjoy working at Mamelani because the organisation provides the platform to engage with the youth and hear them speak out about their struggles and changes they would like to see. Working at Mamelani has allowed me to realise my dream of walking alongside the youth and  help them achieve their dreams and aspirations.



Lewis Kalombo

ProSeed Youth Development: Intern Youth Facilitator

I grow up in a childcare center with the vision that one day I will be the change I wish to see in the world. I am an experienced Capoeirista (Brazilian Martial Arts), and throughout my training days I always had a positive effect on people around me and that is what I wish to continue doing at Mamelani. I'm also the co-founder of Ibali Coffee Shop which will be launched soon. Working at Mamelani means I have the privilege of being surrounded by a community/ family of mentors who have always helped me grow into the person I am today. 


Noncedo Jikwana Mkhohli

Health and Wellness Programme - ARV Adherence Club Facilitator

I believe that change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. Therefore, after completing my training with Mamelani as a Community Champion, I started working with various NGOs, advocating for better TB and HIV care in the marginalised communities. I enjoy my role at Kuyasa clinic, where I am working closely with the clinic staff to motivate people to join Mamelani's ARV club and share essential health information with the community.

Nontombi Mamkeli

Community Health Programme: Health Facilitator and Leader of Community Champions

I grew up in Gugulethu, but I was born in the Eastern Cape. I love working within communities especially with women who want to change their lives for the better. I believe in women development and empowerment.

Linda Kaoma

Communications Manager

I am a published poet and writer. I am also a projects, events and communications manager with over eight years of experience. I am passionate about using writing as a tool for self-discovery and self-healing. Over the years, I had the privilege of being surrounded by a community of mentors and teachers who have helped shape my life and who have helped nurture resilience in me;  I am honoured to now  be working with Mamelani as they do the same for so many. 

Dorette Knoblauch

Office Administrator

I regard it as a privilege to be part of a team that not only plays an enormous role in the lives of so many women and young people in our communities but one that is also relationally-oriented and supportive of one another. My belief that the meaning of life ultimately lies in relationship is a value which Mamelani strongly upholds. I am also a registered counsellor with a passion for people’s healing and personal development.


Prof Thandi Puoane

School of Public Health (UWC)

Thandi is a Professor at the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape. Her areas of specialisation are public health nutrition, chronic non-communicable diseases, child health and monitoring and evaluation of programmes. She works with Community Health Workers in increasing awareness about non-communicable diseas and also has expertise, using motivation interviews for behaviour modification and in using participatory research methods.

Lisa Brunton

Senior Investment Specialist at Nedbank CIB Property Partners, Chairperson

Lisa’s professional background is in investment banking, finance and tax. She is a Senior Investment Specialist at Nedbank CIB Property Partners. She previously served on the Board of the Investec Community Fund, was a mentor on the Investec panel for Young Students and Entrepreneurs, and volunteered at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital. Lisa is our current Chairperson and longest standing Trustee, having served on the board since 2006.

Baheya Najaar

Department of Human Nutrition (UCT)

Baheya is a lecturer in the Department of Human Nutrition at the University Of Cape Town (UCT). This unit has trained Mamelani’s health facilitators over the last few years in nutrition education and health promotion. Baheya brings her vast knowledge in the area of nutrition education as well as community-based health programmes.

Sue Davidoff

the Proteus Initiative

Sue is a social and organisational development practitioner, researcher, teacher and writer. She is the founder of the Teacher In-service Project and author of The Learning School: An Organisation Development Approach, The Courage to Lead and Changing Your Teaching: The Challenge of the Classroom. Sue facilitates learning processes and conversations for individuals and groups.

Nokukhanya Mncwabe

Nokukhanya Mncwabe

Social Justice and Human Rights Activist

Khanya is a committed Social justice and human rights activist who aspires, in her lifetime, to see Africa and all who are fortunate enough to call it home, attain their fullest potential.