Known as Malume because he is as old as the office furniture at Umuzi. Losing more hair than the office cat, Andrew is passionate about developing young people in SA. He is trying to learn Zulu so if you see him drop him a line in vernac. He heads up the movement of Umuzi and wants you to be a card-carrying member.
“Castaway,” to the team, Gilbert’s facial hair (and hair in general) tests the boundaries between office acceptability and hirsute hipster. Gilbert is a social entrepreneur who has passed through the traditional ranks of studying Finance in Cape Town and Economics in Dublin, and a career in management consulting in London and Johannesburg. He is a long-standing Umuzi board member with a passion for youth development, hoarding spices, and cooking from Ottolenghi’s recipes.
The man who brings a dry sense of humour to the Umuzi studio, ‘Ntate Letuka’ as he’s affectionately called, believes in Umuzi vision and the ability it has to share authentic stories and in doing so change the black narrative. Hloni is a seed collector you would most likely see watering the plants at the Umuzi studio.
Umuzi’s resident man of Zen and voice of calm reason, Odendaal – or Odi for short – is our Multimedia stalwart. With 8 years in the game, Odi’s day-to-day superpower is his flair for experimental techniques, backed by un undefined (undefinable) management style. His lucky number is 1, so it’s no wonder he’s number 1 in our books.
Nthabiseng, otherwise known as “Thubz”, lives and breathes creativity. She’s a graphic designer by day and a singer and songwriter by night. She loves travelling and plans to travel more this year. She also loves to run, so next year you will be seeing “Thubz” taking on the Ironman triathlon. “I like to expose my brain to new and exciting things.” As a Graphic Designer turned Art Director, she is the mentor for the up-and-coming Graphic Designers at Umuzi Academy, and brings her creative flair to life every day.
You’re looking at the glue that holds Umuzi together, and we are proud to introduce you to her. This is Royzanne, or as we like to call her, Roy. With more years in the industry than she’d care to admit, she makes things happen at Umuzi through her cool and collected manner, while balancing the role of mentor to our budding traffic recruits. Roy is the Academy’s mamma bear, sushi aficionado and proud owner of a limited edition vintage Barbie Doll.
Otherwise known as Thelepo thaps worked with Umuzi as a student in 2009. Inspired by Umuzi he went onto study a Certificate in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the Market Photo Workshop. Thaps came full circle when he took up a position as head of photography for the Umuzi Photo agency. Thaps finds Solace in shooting beautiful Imagery. A quiet man on the outside buy this man a yogisip and meet the future of South African photographry
‘The next step is always the scary one,’ says the Congolese born self-taught web developer. Dibwe whose name means ‘stone’ is a man of stillness, who has a passion for cooking. Stew and dumpling are always enough to leave his mouth watering. He lives by the mantra – ‘In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.
A reformed Ad man of 6 years, Clay thrives on all things words. His book case sags under the weight of books he’s stolen from his mom’s house, but the first thing he’ll utter is the fact that he built the bookshelf with his own hands. At Umuzi, he brings his advertising knowledge & management style to table with energy and a pretty wicked running-man dance routine. He is the proud mentor to a team of fire-cracker writers at the Umuzi Academy, and happily admits that he is learning as much from them as they are from him.
Sis’ Noni, as she is called by the recruits, is a friendly and welcoming woman from KwaZulu Natal. Her reason to get up each morning is her daughter. She is currently finishing her matric and bettering her knowledge of computers. Her calm is found in gospel music and she draws strength from God.
Known best for his off beat humor, David has a history of creating awkward silences. As a New Yorker, David was inspired to launch Umuzi by South Africa’s born free generation and their homegrown brand of creative expression. He currently works as a multimedia producer at Columbia University, and despite living back in the states, David refuses to stop using words like “boykie”, “just now” and “shap shap”