Where were you born and where did you spend your childhood?
I was born in Port Shepstone and spent my childhood there. We relocated to Pietermaritzburg when I was 10.
Where did you go to school, and then study afterwards?
I attended Murchison Primary School (Port Shepstone), Saphinda Primary (Umlazi), Mthethomusha Primary (PMB) and matriculated at Inkamana High (Vryheid). I then studied at the then University of Natal where I qualified as an Educational Psychologist in 2000.
Tell us a little about your career before joining MIET AFRICA?
I was a teacher for five years, then an acting Subject Advisor and Chief Education Specialist. I was then Director: Psychological, Guidance and Special Education Services for six years, leaving that position to become Chief Director: Institutional Support and Capacity Development in the Department of Women Children and People with Disabilities (one year).
How are you finding it being the new CEO at MIET AFRICA?
It’s really very humbling in that I’m filling the shoes of a visionary–the outgoing CEO, Lynn, who has dedicated her entire life to making a difference in the lives of children, particularly those who are most marginalized. Being the CEO of a one of the most influential NGOs in education development in the region provides the platform to take this vision to greater heights.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and what has been most rewarding?
Repositioning MIET AFRICA for the next decade has been both rewarding and challenging. Rewarding in the sense that we have a clear mandate and how this will be executed in the next ten years; challenging in that in implementing these changes we have had to downsize and retrench staff that have been part of the organization for a long time.
What are your hopes for the future of MIET AFRICA?
That MIET AFRICA grows to be an organization rooted in South Africa but working in the region, Africa and the world!
Who are your 3 heroes, i.e. people who inspire you?
My parents, my children and those who believe in humanity
What is your favourite quote?
If life gives you lemons, turn them into lemonade!
Tell us 3 things that we at MIET AFRICA wouldn’t know about Thobile Sifunda.
I love comedy, Afro-Jazz and more Afro-Jazz.
When you are away from MIET AFRICA and work, how do you like relaxing?
I watch comedy and listen to music.
If you were on a desert island, what 3 things could you not live without?
Water and high heeled shoes on a desert island, is that too much to ask?
What are your pet aversions (small things that irritate you)?
Pretentious people and anything that is “over the top”.
What are your favourite foods, and can you cook them?
I love mielies, seafood, pap and vleis. I’m not a great cook though.
Have you got a favourite recipe you could share with us?
Ingredients: as many lemons as you can get.
Squeeze and sprinkle with lots of love, patience and dedication …Voila! Makes the coolest lemonade!