I have been with CDRA for 12 years, although 30 years ago when I emerged from school I would never have imagined that the work I do would ever exist! It probably didn’t in those days.
I studied history and anthropology at university which helped me to appreciate the fascinating lives and stories of ordinary people responding to the devastating changes of colonial times in Africa. After that I went into teaching at a high school on the Cape Flats during the turbulent 80’s which helped me to glimpse into working class communities trying to struggle for their dignity and lives under Apartheid, and to realise how it requires organisation to make effective change. This led me to establishing an NGO involved in alternative approaches to education (“People’s Education” in those days) and the use of information technology in appropriate and empowering ways. In the mid-nineties when questions of struggle turned to questions of transformation and development I became interested in organisation development as a practice and attended a CDRA course. This helped turn on all sorts of lights in me, the most profound being the observation that you cannot deliver development, that it is a natural process, inherent in all living beings, to respect and work with.
At present I am involved in the Barefoot Guide initiative, the latest being the development of a second Guide focusing on Learning and Social Change, as well as establishing communities of practice around the first Barefoot Guide. I am also working with a “learning community” of early childhood development focused organisations in South Africa, who are trying to learn and work together to break the conventional mould of isolated, project-based development practice. I am particularly interested in how to bring artistic processes into practice to enable more depth and creativity in our thinking and doing.
In my spare time I play in a Zimbabwean marimba band, enjoy swimming and fail spectacularly to grow organic vegetables, but enjoy the experience nevertheless.