Jabu Bengu (Africa!Ignite Chair):
Ms Bengu is a former high school principal and former Director of the non-profit Thembalethu Education and Skills Development Centre in Pietermaritzburg. After 1994 the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport head-hunted her to spearhead the inclusion of women as contractors on the maintenance of the Province’s provincial road network. Subsequent to this, she was appointed as Director: Special Projects in the KwaZulu-Natal Ministry of Education. In this position, she lead the Education Centres’ project, through which education centres were established in all of KwaZulu-Natal’s education districts from 2004, through a partnership between the Education Department, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and MiET Africa, the organisation out of which Africa!ignite was born. Africa!Ignite still uses these centres as nodes of support in rural areas. Jabu subsequently also coordinated the RAIN (Resources and Information Network) project, through which Africa!Ignite distributed education materials on behalf of the education department into all schools in KwaZulu-Natal. She has extensive experience of rural development work. Subsequent to her retirement as Director in the Education Department, she joined Africa!Ignite’s Board as Director in 2009, and has provide on-going guidance and expertise, as well as active support to help strengthen its rural development work. She was also a Trustee of the Ingonyama Trust Board in the past and is currently Chairperson of the WDB Trust; as well as one of three members of the Tribunal appointed to oversee KwaZulu-Natal’s 2020 traditional leadership elections.
Fathima Dada (Africa!IgniteVice- Chair)
Ms Dada is the Managing Director at Oxford Education, a division of Oxford University Press. She joined Oxford University Press in December 2018 from Pearson Education Publishers, where she was the global MD for English and schools. Ms Dada was born and educated in South Africa and began her career here as a teacher in the apartheid era. She joined Pearson in 1988 as a trainee editor at its then joint-venture South African company, Maskew Miller Longman, and moved up to the positions of Managing Director and then Chairperson. She went on to work in South African, regional and global roles at Pearson, including the chair and CEO of Pearson’s Southern, East and Central African businesses. She has also undertaken voluntary work for governments and not-for-profit organisations in multiple countries. Examples of her voluntary work include designing the South African primary and senior secondary curricula for the South African Education Ministry in the 2000s, to chairing Africa!Ignite.
Ms Botha is the founder and ex-CEO of Africa!Ignite She is a former investigative journalist, communications specialist and college lecturer. She worked as a journalist from 1976 to 1992 and won national awards as South Africa’s medical journalist of the year, runner-up to education writer of the year and for health reporting. In 1996 Ms Botha founded MiET Africa, now a leading education development organisation across SADC. She was MiET Africa’s CEO until 2007, when she started Africa!Ignite. Ms Botha has written and co-authored several books, including ‘The city that leapt to life’ to celebrate Johannesburg’s centenary (1987) and ‘BURNING BRIGHT: Extraordinary women of KwaZulu-Natal’ (2009). She has presented papers at several South African and international conferences on topics including sustainable and responsible tourism, rural and enterprise development, and the power of story-telling.
Ms Mqingwana holds a B.Com Degree in the Management & Industrial Psychology from Rhodes University, where she was also the Vice President Rotaract Residence and a Sub-Warden Tutor. She has more than 15 years experience in community development and is currently an independent development consultant. She was previously: the Director of Cinnamon Network, an organisation that conducts research, provides advice, delivers training courses and helps churches start social action projects that transform their communities; the Corporate Social Investment Manager at Sibaya Community Trust (previously Afrisun KZN Community Development), whose main focus is to make a difference in communities by implementing improvements to existing facilities and infrastructure, as well as undertaking development projects; Marketing and Business Development Manager at Africa!Ignite; and Assistant Brand Manager at Unilever South Africa. Ms Mqingwana is passionate about development and plays an active role in Africa!Ignite’s strategy execution as a member of Africa!Ignite’s board. She has excellent skills in Human Resource Management, Brand Management and Community Development
Mr Mkhosi holds a Masters Degree in Agricultural Economics (University of Pretoria), an MBA Certificate in Organisational Behaviour (University of Herriot Watt, UK), and a BSc Honours in Agriculture Economics (University of Zimbabwe). He is an active member of the Africa!Ignite board, and regularly works in partnership with the organisation as lead Agricultural and Agro-processing specialist. Mr Mkhosi is currently the owner and Managing Director of Datacomb, an economic development consultancy firm established in 2005 which provides communities, NGOs, corporates, governments, cooperatives, and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as individuals with custom designed solutions for local enterprise development stimulation, enterprise growth strategy development and a bouquet of Business Development Services (BDS). He previously held positions in Taguta, an agriculture production planning and analysis system; a turnkey developer of various hospitality businesses including Hibon Resorts and Recreation Africa Restaurant Holdings (RARH); serving on the Tourism BBBEE Council Member, managing the “Tourism Transformation & The Revision of the Tourism Incentives Schemes” as well as “The Provision of Tourism Business Advisory Services for the DTI & Environment Affairs & Tourism Research Projects. He was a founding member and chair of Fair Trade in Tourism SA; he set up ABSA Bank’s Tourism Division.