Lovelyn Nwadeyi is a young and vibrant Nigerian-South African woman who hails from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape.
She holds a BA International Studies degree from Stellenbosch University and an MSc in Peace and Conflict Studies degree from Uppsala University in Sweden. She has been involved in diverse roles related to student and worker activism during the first wave of the movements of #FeesMustFall and #EndOutsourcing in South Africa in 2015. Lovelyn regularly speaks on matters related to the decolonisation of education, socio-economic justice, and gender justice.
Lovelyn has worked as a volunteer and a professional in diverse capacities which entails engaging with young people for leadership development, public speaking, and debating skills training. In the corporate sector, she has been involved in organisational and talent management, sales and research for technology solutions to human resources and staffing problems. Most recently, Lovelyn worked as regulatory and public policy researcher in the telecommunications sector.
Between what she is paid to do and what she does pro-bono, Lovelyn loves to read stories, tell stories, enjoy good food and make music.
In an attempt to live up to Micah 6:8, Lovelyn tries to consciously ask, “What does justice look like?” in every situation.
Barnabé Msabah holds a doctoral degree in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch, with a special focus in Community Development. Barnabé is the current Head of Research and Academic Advisor in the School of Theology at the Pan Africa Christian University in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is lecturer of Christian theology. He is a former refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and has lived in various African countries for many years including, until recently, South Africa where he spent the last 17 years. His research interest revolves around understanding the intersection of faith and social practice particularly as this relates to human dignity, transformational development, integral mission, ethical leadership, social justice, and the church’s agency vis-à-vis transnational migration and integration. Barnabé is married to Susan and the Lord has blessed them with two daughters, Tumaini and Imani.
Esmé Bowers is an ordained minister of the Full Gospel Church and serves as Missions Director at Calvary Sanctuary in Wynberg, Cape Town, where her husband is the senior minister.
Her Christian ministry began 45 years ago in the Kenilworth Methodist Church, her marriage to Theo saw her moving to the Full Gospel Church of God in Steenberg during the struggle years. Working in this sub-economic community and in the first squatter camp in Vrygrond challenged this couple to engage in transforming the community in partnership with other church leaders and together addressing issues of poverty and justice in the community. This set a pattern for developing transformational leaders.
Esméhas facilitated leadership workshops around the globe for the past 25 years and is passionate about developing Christian African women from all levels of society. Presently she serves on the World Evangelical Alliance leadership team as the Director of Church in Community, she serves as the Chairperson of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) and leads The Pan African Christian Women’s Alliance in South Africa.
Caroline Powell has a passion for liberating, contextual theology that emboldens and inspires people and communities of faith to "Love mercy, live justly and walk humbly with God" (Micah 6:8) in brave and prophetic ways that shake the status quo of inequality in the world. She has had the joy of working out this mission for the past 11 years with The Warehouse in Cape Town, a worshiping community organization that walks alongside churches as they seek to respond to the issues of inequality, injustice and division. She is currently conducting research with a focus on spatial justice, church land, restitution and reconciliation. Caroline has an interest in the critical role that young Christian leaders play in social movements and loves to help such leaders marry their personal faith with their activism. Kenilworth, Cape Town is where most of life happens for her although she enjoys the blessing of friendships across the length and breadth of our beautiful city, country, continent and world. Friendship, and all that comes with it, is her favorite pursuit in life.
Genevieve James serves at the University of South Africa as head of Community Engagement. She created the education for justice initiative, the Chance 2 Advance programme, which is designed to create access to critical development knowledge produced in the higher education sector, and encourage mutual knowledge mobilization between universities and communities. Prior to this, Genevieve served as a missiologist after having completed her PhD in Urban Missiology.
Genevieve affirms the indispensable role people of faith play in the realisation of justice. In her own justice journey, Genevieve has realised that justice must be loved, understood, pursued and practiced. She is married to Jade Van Der Walt.
Gerda Von Benecke is a keen participant, proponent, and student of ‘the community of enquiry’ approach to engaging with issues of social justice. This approach values critical questioning, reasoning and reflection within group dialogue as a path to deeper understanding and meaningful action. She was formally introduced to this approach via training received in Philosophy for Children and enjoys the privilege of practicing its values as part of her role as coordinator of Step Up. Step Up is a project run by Bottomup Social Development, based in various high schools in Grassy Park, Cape Town. The project draws on Youth Participatory Action Research and various critical and sociological thinking skills in empowering youth to gain a deeper understanding of and take action on issues in their schools leading to student disengagement and ultimately dropout.
Gerda has completed studies in different fields including Theology, Journalism and Religious Studies. Her various learning experiences have led her to an appreciation of critical pedagogy and she hopes to learn more about its dynamics and effects through continued practice.’
Grizelda Grootboom is an activist against human trafficking, who supports fellow survivors undergoing rehabilitation.
Grizelda says her world views change every day because there are different injustices that need to be dealt with differently everyday, and she is determined to change the lives of young African women who are vulnerable to being abused by the illegal sex trade. She says, “If you want to change the law, you need the woman who has outlived the hell that is prostitution. I am a survivor for a painful purpose, but I have to help stop the next generation of girls from being bought and sold. My responsibility is to tell the truth.” It is with these sentiments that she writes. She hopes her writing will create awareness and consequently change.
Grizelda is the founder of the Survivor Exit Foundation which is continuing the fight in creating awareness of the injustices of the sex slave industry as well as coming up with solutions to stop this industry altogether. Her first book Exit!, published in 2016 by Jacana Media, is a painfully honest book about being a victim of human trafficking, rape and drug abuse.
Keegan Davids is deeply passionate about life and people, and spends the largest part of his life pursuing and nurturing friendship because of his belief that friendship holds the capacity to change the world. At the core of his life’s passion is walking a long road with young leaders seeking to explore faithful ways in which the Church can be present in the midst of injustice. He currently serves as Parish Youth Pastor at St. Johns Parish, leading a team of vibrant young youth leaders as well heading up the leadership formation program at the Leadership Academy. Keegan is on the leadership team of Ubuntu football academy, an organisation that exists to mentor and educate a generation of local leaders and society changers through their football and education programs. He is married to his best friend Lindsay and together they long to stir some hope in the spaces they find themselves in. Follow him on social media @keegandavids
Ashley Visagie is a co-founder of Bottomup, a nonprofit organisation providing support to schools on the Cape Flats. He is deeply concerned about inequality and injustice related to schooling in South Africa and particularly in low socioeconomic status schools located in urban townships. His research explores how dominant narratives about student performance represent or hide advantage and disadvantage. Ashley's hope is to advocate for policy change that will assist marginalised students by contesting the misrecognition evident in dominant narratives about failing schools.
René August was baptised in the United Congregational Church, confirmed Methodist and ordained Anglican. Born into a black Christian family in Apartheid South Africa meant that holding paradox, ambiguity, suspicion, survival with the ability for quick thinking, running fast and careful listening were some of the things you had to master if you were going to get through school. If you wanted to get through life with any kind of faith then you needed a few more tools in your belt. Growing up in Mitchell’s Plain meant early days of ministry happened there. Her first job was in an inner city church, where she discovered God's love for cities, and her love for cities too. She has always worked in ecumenical contexts and enjoys variety.
There are many things René loves and a few things she hates. She hates conflict enough to get involved in conflict transformation. She hates injustices enough to want to be involved in as many ways as are necessary to bring about justice in as many ways as possible. She hates the exploitation of our planet enough to want to work for its restoration. She loves the local church, she loves cricket, she loves food and people and being outside. She loves learning, but hates studying. She loves working in a team. In working at The Warehouse, René spends a lot of time with church leaders. She is passionate about finding new ways and tools to read our sacred texts in ways that help us connect it to our historical and contemporary contexts, so that we find new ways to live more faithfully in God's story of love and recreation.
Lusanda Mashua was born in East London, in the Eastern Cape. She graduated with a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Nelson Mandela Metropole University in Port Elizabeth. As a campus pastor for 7 years in Durban, she had the incredible opportunity of disciplining and mentoring young student ladies, preaching and teaching within her church, as well as receiving invitations from other ministries. She also worked as a creative arts pastor and songwriter. Her interests are fine arts, social commentary using the arts, history, social justice and worship.
She has been working as a design and marketing manager for RZIM Africa Trust since 2013. Lusanda and Mahlatse live in Cape town with their three little girls Maisha, Amani, and Rorisang.
Mathabo Baase grew up in Klerksdorp, South Africa into a family that practiced Ancestralism (a traditional African religion). She came to know Jesus Christ as a grade-schooler when a local church started a Sunday school program in her neighbourhood.
At the NWU, Mathabo served as chapter president of Ratio Christi, a student campus apologetics alliance and was involved as a group facilitator & mentor at Dokima, the teen ministry division of Duet Gemeente. Upon graduation in 2016 from NWU, she was appointed as a junior lecturer in indigenous law and law of persons at the NWU.
Mathabo’s passion for evangelism and apologetics was born out of a desire to communicate and teach the truth of Christ to those who were and/or remain socially oppressed. Having grown up in a developing country where the reality of apartheid and segregation is still evident to date, she stays committed to reaching high school and university students who have succumbed to cultural stigmatization.
Mesuli Tshele is a firm believer in the echo of the gospel of Jesus Christ that says, 'there are no Jews or Gentiles but one new man in Christ' and that has been made possible by king Jesus. Mesuli is an associate church leader at Godfirst Church, East Rand where he lives and breathes reconciliation, justice and worship of king Jesus.
Mesuli studied to become an economist, moving between universities as he followed the call of God to contribute in all different communities. Mesuli enjoys his meat, is a people's person, is very easy to connect with, and is sometimes funny. Don't bring any lions or rats near him.
"I am very excited to be part of this year's conference and my prayer is that God would move many hearts towards a rolling of justice across all sectors of society and in the light of our history - see you there."
Minah Koela was born in Gugulethu and raised in Cross Roads, Eastern Cape and Khayelitsha. In her early 20’s she moved to Muizenberg and came to faith in Jesus. She married Brian Koela and has 4 sons. Together, they have been involved in a church plants in Khayelitsha. Minah was involved in student ministry at CPUT. Whilst pastoring a multicultural church in Muizenberg, she saw that building a community of diverse people of God is possible.
Minah has been involved in ministry in different ways for about 23 years and now works at Beautiful Gate South Africa as a staff developer and carer. Her involvement in cross cultural ministry reinforces her belief that all nations and tribes can worship God together here on earth. She is passionate about the united church and navigating of our differences in South Africa and how we can seek to live together as the people of God.
Nazeer Sonday is invested in building a 2ha small scale market garden - Vegkop Polyculture Farm - based on agroecology to contribute to the burning issue of agrarian reform in the Philippi Horticultural Area. The farm is a response to ecological and climate change challenges facing agriculture and small-scale farmers in particular. Agroecology is a system of farming using natural processes and placing farmers and consumers at the centre of the food system.
Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso is a global development specialist and activist who uses her extensive skills set in service to eradicate poverty, and to create opportunities for the African people to live dignified, peaceful lives, specifically working with African youth, women and girls. As Director and executive head of African Monitor, she works with African governments, global development institutions, civil society and citizens groups to ensure that development solutions prioritise the needs and aspirations of poor and vulnerable communities.
African Monitor has been at the helm of leading African youth and civil society to monitor the sustainable development agenda in Africa through Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals. Namhla is a strong advocate for citizen-centric approaches to development, accountable leadership, and economic justice.
Namhla is also the Founder and Chief Executive of KB Media & Communications, a platform communications social enterprise that runs development campaigns, value-based leadership coaching and personal development programmes across Africa, including the BigSisAfrica programme. She is an associate of the Allan Gray Centre for Values-based Leadership, a member of the expert group for the Africa Progress Group, a Patron for the Africa Youth SDGs Summit, and a Global Peer Review Expert for the German Government.
Nicole Joshua is passionate about partnering with God in God’s work of redeeming and transforming our world, and she believes that the Bible provides us with narrative framework that shapes our understanding of God and of the work to which God calls us. She is deeply concerned with praxis; she believes that how one lives out their faith in the world - how one’s faith shapes their engagement with their communities, finances, family life, relationships, etc. in ways that bring about healing and transformation - is more important than focusing purely on figuring out the right beliefs.
She began her working life in international banking, after which she served as a crisis pregnancy counsellor and working briefly in fundraising. She now teaches introductory Biblical Studies modules at Cornerstone Institute and has just recently begun working as a counsellor at Pollsmoor Correctional Facility in the Women’s Unit. She also serves as a board member of an organisation called Common Change, which seeks to foster transformation and restitution through the practise of generosity.
Nkosikhona Swartbooi is the head of community organising at Ndifuna Ukwazi, an advocacy organisation campaigning for land justice in Cape Town. He was an integral part of founding Reclaim The City, a campaign for public land in Sea Point which is growing into a nascent movement.
Prior to that, he was part of the Social Justice Coalition, and was involved in community organising and conducting social audits in Khayelitsha. He is currently studying at UNISA towards a law degree. Follow him on Twitter: @NSwartbooi or find him on Facebook: Nkosikhona Swaartbooi
Being a Zulu-girl in a troubled world with an ever-changing landscape, Pros Ndimande realised very early in life that change is constant and life a challenge course. Her life is about being a positive change agent, however big or small the impact she makes in the lives of her fellow man and the ecosystems she finds herself in.
The line she lives by is: "What is my God-given responsibility/duty in this moment in time?"
Sebabatso Manoeli is passionate about justice and creating the conditions for the flourishing of all. As Innovation Director at the DG Murray Trust, her work focuses on investing in human potential from the start, specifically in early childhood and in the foundation phase of education.
Prior to working in development, Sebabatso obtained her PhD and Masters degrees in History and African Studies, respectively. Her research expertise lay in the diplomacy of Southern Sudanese civil wars. She has also worked at the African Leadership Academy, the Africa List at the CDC Group, and the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. She was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, a Mandela Scholar at Amherst College, a Senior Fellow of the Moremi Initiative for Women’s Leadership in Africa, and a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow.
Shantelle Weber grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa but has been living in Cape Town for the past 19 years. She is married to Brandon and together they share two daughters, Shannon and Ashleigh.
Shantelle has a PhD in Practical Theology from the University of Stellenbosch where she is also currently employed as a senior lecturer in the Department of Practical Theology and Missiology. Her research interests include Youth ministry, work and development; Faith formation of children and youth; Cultural and interreligious studies; Social justice and youth in South Africa; Religious education in schools and theological institutions and Youth, family, ecclesial and societal relationships.
Shantelle is also the Director of Uzwelo Youth Development where she lives out her passion in training youth workers who cannot study full-time and also mentoring youth and young adults with a passion for youth in South Africa.
Sthembiso Zwane is currently the Deputy Director of the Ujamaa Centre for Community Development and Research based in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics in the College of Humanities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg. He has been teaching practical theology at undergraduate and postgraduate levels for the past 10 years focusing of redemptive theologies of transformation and advocating for socio-economic justice and policy reform. Ujamaa Centre uses the worker priests liberation framework known as See-Judge-Act as a conduit for praxis in its community engagement processes.
Sthembiso has been involved in social and economic justice campaigns for the past 15 years working with communities in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal. He is currently leading the East Africa Contextual Bible Study project addressing issues of socio-economic injustice and gender. He holds a Master of Theology degree from the University of Natal and is currently completing a Master of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Craig Duvel has a passion to see the life and ministry of Jesus reproduced as fully and as widely as possible. He believes that the people of God, equipped by the Spirit both individually and in community, are to be a prophecy, a promise and a presence of the Kingdom of Jesus in this world.
After 2 years in air traffic control he stepped into ministry, through networking, leadership development, evangelism, church planting and then leading two local churches for the last 20 years. Craig is currently a pastor at Pinelands Baptist Church, Cape Town and leads Explore, a diverse, missional congregation that is part of the same church. The church has embarked on a deliberate mercy, justice and diversity journey.
Craig is married to Cindy and they have 3 young adult children.
Nadine Bowers Du Toit is currently an Associated Professor in Theology and Development at the Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch and was formerly the Head of Department for Community Development at Cornerstone Institute. She believes that social justice is integral to the gospel and is therefore committed to helping the church understand it’s role as an agent of change. Her research over the past 15 years has focused on this.
Nadine enjoys equipping Christians to understand their motivation for this engagement with society as rooted in scripture and is often invited to address local congregations, church leaders and FBOs on this topic. She sees herself as an activist academic always seeking to push for space for more voices to be heard. Nadine also serves on the boards of two NGOs.
She is married to Andries – who is equally passionate about social justice - and they have a 7 year old daughter, Daniela.
Nkosi Gola is an activist, guerrilla gardener, and dreamer of a South Africa that looks different for all its citizens. He works at The Warehouse, challenging the status quo, leading contextual bible studies, walking alongside church leaders, prophetically imagining a city where all people have equal access, and activating campaigns such as the Sanitation, Health, Information and Theology campaign. He is co-founder of Ujamaa, a self-reliant, self-awareness community initiative striving for communal economic development and sharing based on a co-operative approach in the Cape Town area.
A thinker and writer who brings theory to practice in transformative ways, Nkosi challenges the existing narrative present in the South African church and social structure with Christ the liberator as his focus and life source.
Consolee Kanamugire has expressed a hunger for peace and justice from a young age. She lost her parents and siblings to war fatalities that led her to flee from her native country and has been a refugee ever since. Striving to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable people in society, especially those who are suffering due to injustice, she chose to embrace a career in social work. She kicked off her career working for a company taking care of people with physical disabilities before moving to Durban Child Welfare to take care of needy children. Later, she joined the Durban Mental Health Society to help people with mental disabilities. She is currently working at the Refugee Social Services providing a range of psycho-social services and integration support for refugees and asylum seekers around Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
Qhamani "Kimba" Bambatha is a Christian, a humanist, and an active activist who imagines a world and a South Africa that gives value to every human who lives in it. He is a member and chairperson of Ujamaa Communal where he works closely with the community to develop home industries that are working in a cooperative society.
In a very unequal and anti-black South Africa where structural racism is a major problem and an enemy of humanity, he stands with hope and is fighting towards the restoration of human dignity by involving himself in progressive engagements where hard issues are being raised and talked about to challenge the status quo and slowly bring about a fundamental change.
Ncumisa Magadla is a black South African young woman from the Eastern Cape, baptised, and is a member of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. She is a journalism graduate, and currently Knowledge and Communications officer for South South North where she provides support to communication and projects.
She holds a Journalism degree from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a Diploma Certificate in Environmental Education. Ncumisa worked for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Environmental Network as a communications and training officer in Southern and Central Africa on Earth Keeping and Care for Creation projects.
Her interests are in environmental humanities and climate justice. Her work is focused on leadership among the youth of Southern Africa, especially Anglicans, to heighten awareness of our environmental challenges and to advise them regarding recreating a vision for Eco Churches and communities.
Zodwa Nsibande joined Churchland Programme in 2013. She is working as a Programme Activist. Her area of focus is to connect with rural communities and farm dwellers who are in the struggle for land and food sovereignty. Follow her on social media.
Facebook: Zodwa Nsibande
Instagram: Zodwa Nsibande
Masana Ndinga-Kanga is Crisis Response Fund Lead at CIVICUS Global Alliance for Citizen Participation. She works to ensure that civic liberties are respected for groups advancing human rights around the world, with a specific focus on the MENA region. Previously, she was Research Programme Manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation where she served on the Steering Committee of the Integrated Social Crime Prevention Strategy of the Department of Social Development.
Masana has an MSc in Political Economy of Late Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and has worked at the Robert F Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights in Washington D.C. She regularly contributes to Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader, Huffington Post and The Times in South Africa.
She is fiercely passionate about economic justice and transformation of the international political economy for greater accountability by governments and corporates. You can follow her on Twitter @MasanaTweets
Thandi Gamedze lives to see a society in which all people are seen, valued, and given space and access to live out the fullness of their expression on the earth. This desire and conviction is borne out of a deep belief that Jesus came and comes still, as the liberator, and that following him means coming against anything that gets in the way of this picture of justice, wholeness and shalom for the world in which we live. While working towards a Master’s in Public Administration at UWC, Thandi is currently working for The Warehouse in Communications, as well as for the School of Government, UWC as an associate lecturer.
You can find out more about her on her blog page https://insightsandopinions.wordpress.com/
Skhumbuzo Zuma believes that all humans should be God's agents of change. He believes that our vocation is to liberate ourselves and the environment from shackles of capitalism and greed that goes with it. In his younger days he was an activist of Young Christian Workers where his formation was shaped and molded and advocated for rights of unemployed youth. He went on to join Ujamaa Research Centre at UKZN where he engaged in the work of Contextual Bible Studies, in particular with contract workers.
Currently, he works for Church Land Programme learning from struggles of Rural Communities, Farm 'Dwellers' and Abahlali Basemjondolo.
Brett Anderson is all about seeing the church live out what we say we believe in all areas of life, especially once we have left the building. He is author of the book 'i, church' and currently works with Heartlines, helping groups of people engage in story-telling using the 'What's Your Story?' programme that seeks to build bridges between people of different colour and background.
Brett "Fish" as he is known, is someone who uses social media prolifically to call people to think critically and engage radically in Jesus-following lives that seek to transform the society in which they are lived. As a member of Cape Town's longest performing Improv troupe Improguise, he seeks to combine laughter with a hard-hitting challenge to shake the way things have always been done in the hope that we can create a world that leans more towards those considered 'the least of these'. He is well-known for using any means possible in order to win some more to the cause of the kingdom. He hates raiSINs with an absolute passion.
You can find Brett "Fish" on Twitter @BrettFishA and on Instagram @BrettFishA
John Volmink was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. He started his academic career at the University of Western Cape and completed a PhD in Mathematics Education at Cornell University.
He started his career as a high school teacher and later held various university teaching positions. He has been centrally involved in curriculum reform in post-apartheid South Africa and has played a leading role in the transformation of education in the new South Africa.
In 2016, John served as the Interim Vice-Chancellor of the Durban University of Technology and also Acting Vice-Chancellor at CPUT in 2017.
John and his late wife Angela, who was also a teacher, worked together in community based educational projects in the Athlone area with a focus on young people and these days is involved in a project in Portugal on Ubuntu.
Lerato Kobe is passionate about leadership, justice and reconciliation and is currently a student at the University of Pretoria, and VU Amsterdam. She is undertaking her PhD project on Desmond Tutu’s Theology of Forgiveness, in the context of the Fallist discourse for justice in South Africa.
Lerato was the first person from her home in Butterworth, South Africa to attend university. She first completed a Diploma in Theology at the University of Fort Hare, going on to further her studies in Religion and Theology at the University of the Western Cape, focusing on the relationship between remorse and forgiveness.
Sivuyile Kotela is a social impact advocate, entrepreneur and speaker. He was born and bred in Port Elizabeth, where he also studied Software Development, and after working in different industries, started his own technology business. After a couple of years successfully running the purely-for-profit business, he started sensing a discomfort that made him long for, what he calls, “something deeper than the bottom-line”. At that time, he understood this longing to be a call to full-time pastoral ministry. He then completely left his business and enrolled for and graduated with a BA Theology degree. With time this “holy discomfort” has crystallised into the personal mission of “inspiring a generation to partner with God in changing the world”. He now calls himself an impact evangelist. Sivuyile is Founder and Chief Executive Villager at The REAL Village; a Pan African social enterprise whose mission is to create, capacitate, connect and celebrate the continent’s changemakers. He is currently based in East London with his family, where he is also serving his spiritual home, the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church as Associate Pastor and Communication Manager.
You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram @sivukotela
Dage Musangilay left the Democratic Republic of Congo for Cape Town in 2005 due to political unrest. He was studying journalism and has maintained his interest in language and reporting the truth through his current studies in Community Development at Cornerstone Institute.
Dage works as the verger at Christ Church Kenilworth and as an administrator at St Philips Church in Kenwyn. He is one of the founding members of the New Jerusalem Church, which serves the spiritual needs of many Congolese refugees in Cape Town. He also runs a support group to help Congolese people integrate into South African society, building bridges between local and displaced communities. Dage is passionate about the application of his Christian faith to issues of justice, and he seeks equality for all. He envisions returning to the DRC one day to rebuild his beloved country into a place of peace. Dage is married to Daniella.
Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Church and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice.
Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.
Colleen Saunders lives in Retreat in the Western Cape and works at The Warehouse, a church-based Development Trust that mobilises and equips churches to be change agents for community transformation. Colleen’s work has included high school teaching, rural and organisational development. She enjoys designing and delivering learning processes but her passion is to see people develop into the fullness of who God made them to be. Her current work includes running a course that helps people deal with loss, grief and continuous trauma, a course that she runs in places of deep pain and trauma.
Colleen sees her purpose best expressed through the Message translation of Matthew 11:5b - “that the wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side”.
Racheal Mutesi is an adjunct and speaker for RZIM Africa and currently lives in Uganda.
She holds a Bachelors of Commerce from Makerere University and has also studied Theology and Apologetics from Oxford University. Racheal is the founder and a Girls’ ambassador for Ufahari Girls Ministries.
The vision for Ufahari Girls Ministries is to see the empowerment of girls within society in a self-sufficient way through a sustainable development of Christian Apologetics and Evangelism, Education, Discipleship, Agriculture, Poverty Alleviation and improved Health Care. In addition, Racheal is the Missions Coordinator at St. Nicholas Church of Uganda, Kalerwe.
She is a girls advocate, preacher and mentor.
Zenzile Molo is the son of the soil, unapologetically African brother. He started his career in Information Technology before moving to Theology and Psychology where he believes he found his passion and love for Afrika and Justice. He has devoted his time in studying different disciplines and their approaches to justice and liberation. He believes that the quest for justice and liberation requires both theological and psychological interventions. From a theological dimension Zenzile is involved in VukaniBantu-TsohangBatho a Black Theology of Liberation organization led by Professor Vuyani Vellem from the University of Pretoria.
He is a member of Ujamaa Communal Gardens, a self-reliance/self-awareness community initiative that strives for a communal economic development which is based on cooperative system. Zenzile is also involved in Youth Development programs around Langa, Mfuleni and Khayelitsha. He is currently working with SAMRC as a community liaison, focussing on gender-based violence, African Psychologies and Men and Masculinities.
Eliza Gaviola-Stewart started her first environmental awareness club (The Green Guardians) at eight years old. It lasted a spectacular, life-changing few hours and then never met again. Now, she is 16 years old and enjoys celebrating menstruation, singing Hamilton, and is still figuring out most of her life. If you meet her she will enthusiastically talk to you about menstrual cups and destigmatising periods. Bleeding is beautiful.
Mandisa Dyantyi is the Deputy General Secretary of the Social justice Coalition. Mandisa has been working in the social justice space for the past eight years. She’s worked for organisations such as the Open Society Foundation, The Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office and the Economic Justice Network.
Mandisa holds a Master’s in political studies from the University of the Western Cape. She has interests social justice and political education. She is passionate about fighting inequality in all its forms especially racial and gender inequalities and rights of women and GNC people.
Roné McFarlane is an education activist and researcher, whose work is inspired by the belief that education can contribute to more just societies. She is the Co-Head of Research at the South African CSO Equal Education, where she conducts research and policy analysis and advocates for equality in education. Roné also serves on the organising committee of the Education Fishtank, an education platform that hosts monthly education seminars in Cape Town. Outside of work Roné is a house leader for the NPO Echo Youth Development, which provides houses for youth from childcare facilities who have to make the difficult transition to adulthood.
Kurt Minnaar is a youthful, dynamic Mathematics Teacher and the founder of Dreamer Education. Not being one to succumb to a fairly inoperative education system, Kurt has risen to the challenge of both assisting his students with understanding mathematical concepts, as well as finding a new appreciation for the subject they would otherwise not have felt empowered to excel in.
Through Dreamer Education, Kurt has developed creative multimedia materials aimed at changing the way maths is presented to his students. He believes that the antiquated methods of teaching, while not entirely redundant, can no longer provide learners with the adequate comprehension of concepts by itself, and needs to be supplemented with other inventive strategies.
Allan Boesak studied at the Theological Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, was ordained in Immanuel DRCM in Paarl in 1968 at age 22.
Allan served the church in various ecumenical positions, including as Moderator of his church, Senior Vice President of the South African Council of Churches, and President of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. Under his leadership, the WARC declared apartheid a sin and a heresy and suspended the two white Dutch Reformed churches in South Africa for their moral and theological justification of the apartheid system.
Allan's involvement in public life and South Africa’s freedom struggle began in 1976. In 1983 he called for the formation of the United Democratic Front which would grow into the largest, nonviolent, non-racial anti-apartheid formation in the history of the struggle. He became their most visible leader at home and abroad.
Allan has taught across the world, and continues his teaching and preaching, while remaining active in global struggles for human rights. Currently, he serves as Distinguished Professor of Religion and Social Justice at Berea College, Kentucky. He is married to renowned investigative journalist Elna Boesak and together have two daughters.
Philomène Luyindula is a French teacher and translator because she is in love with words. She writes poetry and short stories and published The Widening of The Womb and Other Stories. This is a collection of stories narrated by Old Testament characters using a feminist lens.
Sometimes, she is a mother in small letters and at times it is with a capital 'M'. Philomène has been a member of the Congolese diaspora in South Africa for her whole adult life and she is the adoptee in a Belgian and French interracial family which leads her to believe that God had a giggle when 'sending her' to South Africa in 1993.
Philomène's favourite word is Grace. And perhaps grace is God's laughter.
Sandisiwe Ncube is a development economist by training and has over 7 years experience within the financial inclusion sector. Her work has exposed her to a cross section of various areas within the financial inclusion ecosystem, specifically - financial regulation, consumer protection, product development and human-centred design.
In the last 3 years the bulk of her work has focused on digital financial inclusion - more specifically mobile insurance (m-insurance) and the regulation of digital financial services and the consumer protection concerns therein. Her area of interest and expertise lies within (and not limited to) consumer protection, financial sector regulation, financial service client value proposition assessment, analysis, digital and alternative distribution channels in financial services.
Sandisiwe finds the interplay between economics, politics and social justice intellectually intriguing and is passionate about exploring biblical solutions to poverty.
Adam Russell Taylor is the Executive Director of Sojourners and author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post Civil Rights Generation.
Adam previously led the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group and served as the Vice President of Advocacy at World Vision U.S. and the Senior Political Director at Sojourners. He has also served as the executive director of Global Justice, an organization that educates and mobilizes students around global human rights and economic justice. Adam is a graduate of Emory University, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. Taylor is ordained in the American Baptist Church and serves at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.
Carol Ng’ang’a is a community development practitioner. A proud alumni of Cornerstone Institute, Cape Town. She has spent the last 8 years walking alongside various communities towards interventions for their empowerment.
In July 2017, she founded Msingi Trust whose aim is to ‘Mobilize, Inspire, Equip and Network Christians towards Social Justice, Social Activism and Social Transformation'.
Carol is an ardent believer of justice, equality and empowerment for all and has special interest in working with faith leaders to fight injustice within their community contexts.
For over 15 years Jarrod McKenna has been daily living and learning from those who would be otherwise homeless, drug addicted, returning from prison or seeking safety. He is passionate about the fire of God’s transfiguring-love becoming our reality in prayer, and our program for ecological and social witness.
Jarrod is the founder of Australia’s www.commongrace.org.au movement, the co-founder of First Home Project for asylum seekers and one of the initiators of the #LoveMakesAWay civil disobedience movement. Jarrod is the Teaching Pastor at Cornerstone Church but earns a living as a social change educator around the world. He is also the host of two of Australia’s most popular podcasts on spirituality “The InVerse Podcast” on liberating readings of the Bible, and “The Perisson Podcast” on contemplative prayer. Jarrod likes hugs.
Tyler Burns is a pastor, professional podcaster, TV show host, writer, and cultural commentator. He currently serves as the Executive Pastor at New Dimensions Christian Center in Pensacola, Florida. He hosts multiple podcasts that garner thousands of listeners including RAANetwork’s official podcast, Pass the Mic and the Justice Conference’s official podcast, Chasing Justice.
Tyler is committed to affirming the human dignity of all people, justice for the voiceless, and the redemption of the arts. He is routinely called upon to speak for various churches and schools, as well as a nationally-read online writer for such websites as Rapzilla.com, the Reformed African American Network, RapRehab among others. He desires to be known as a man of God, a loyal friend, and a servant of his fellowman.
Jacqui Tooke serves as the Mercy and Justice Ministry Leader at Pinelands Baptist Church, where she is exploring how Jesus-followers, living in the middle-class suburbs of Cape Town, can respond obediently to God’s call to act justly and love mercy (Micah 6:8).
Through her social work she encountered the poverty of the city for the first time, as her Apartheid upbringing had done well to shelter her from this reality. Her understanding of Jesus and church has been shaped the by 12 years of belonging to a faith community in Gugulethu. Working with The Warehouse birthed in her a prophetic vision of how the church can usher in shalom to the broken places in South Africa.
Her eldest son, born with a genetic syndrome, has taught her to empathise with the marginalised and has awoken in her a passion for inclusion. Mothering her three children keeps her grounded in the present. Her husband, Lloyd, reminds her that humour is also part of God’s kingdom. Playing marimba is her happy space and her rest is found in her little veggie patch where compost and soil inspire her. In this season of her life, acting justly means aligning her every-day life choices to both care for creation and to dismantle the legacy of Apartheid. She is acutely aware that she can do none of this without the power and presence of Jesus.
Peter Cornelius is the founder pastor of the Seaview Baptist Church in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town South Africa. He has a passion for marginalised communities to rise up to the challenge of non- racialism, growth and development, and self determination. Peter is an unabashed and unashamed lover and servant of Jesus. His life slogan is “Radically submitted to Christ. Radically committed to my family, the church and society.” He is also the chief solution architect for Raak Wys/Get Streetwise.
Peter is married to Janine and shares parental joys and responsibilities with her over Paul and Daniel.
Dumisani Rebombo envisions a church that includes human capacity development alongside its redemption agenda and goals. He envisages Christ’s disciples who embrace all aspects of equality in Christ without prejudice, ensuring also that human social development prevails in the church and is made central to the discipleship mandate.
Dumisani is currently the Community Education & Mobilisation Unit Manager for Sonke Gender Justice. Sonke’s vision is a world in which men, women and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies. In the past 9 years Sonke has been working with different faith-based institutions using innovative approaches to address harmful gender norms in the sector.
Dumisani is a member of the Board of Directors for Mfanelo Ya Mina in Mozambique. He is married to Rose and they have been blessed with 3 children.
Zac Niringiye is an Anglican Bishop from Uganda, where he is a civic-political activist involved in several civil society-led peace and social justice campaigns. He is a Senior Fellow in a budding think tank - The Institute of Religion, Faith and Culture in Public Life (INTERFACE).
Bishop Zac's passion for the Gospel and his burden to fight endemic corruption and injustice in Uganda brought an early retirement in 2012 from serving as Assistant Bishop to serve the cause of social justice and good governance in Uganda. He now speaks internationally variously on the Gospel imperative for social justice in a broken and estranged world.
Mahlatse Mashua is currently the Director of RZIM in Africa and a member of the organisation’s global speaking team.
He studied Biochemistry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal before serving as a pastor and elder at Every Nations Church, Durban where he was also involved with training the congregation in evangelism and discipleship.
He later studied at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He is passionate about exploring the conversation about faith and culture through surveying how people answer the big questions of life. As an itinerant speaker, he enjoys giving talks on several themes including the interface between Christian apologetics, justice, conflict resolution and race relations.
Mahlatse is married to Lusanda and they live in Cape Town with their three beautiful girls.
Luthando Tofu is a church leader, development practitioner and facilitator who is passionate about social transformation and kingdom-minded leadership development within the African context. He believes in the deep transformative nature of the Gospel and role of the church in effecting this process.
Valdi Van Reenan-Le Roux believes in living a purposeful life. She is the executive director of the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Violence and Torture, an NGO specialising in violence prevention and trauma counselling. In 2005, Valdi was diagnosed with breast cancer which returned in 2015. Her oncologist gave her two years to live but here she is still standing by the grace of God. Valdi’s testimony is living proof that violence can be an enabler and not necessarily a barrier in life.
Craig Stewart began his career with a brief stint as a fresh water ecologist before moving into education and a non-profit career. He remains fascinated by water and by the nature of complex systems and how change happens within them.
He is currently the CEO of The Warehouse, a justice and mercy ministry in Cape Town, South Africa, that is working to inspire, equip and connect churches in church led community transformation. Craig is a member of the Board of Directors for HOPE Africa and an adjunct staff member of Eastern University in the USA.
Craig is married to Liesl and they have 3 children. He loves cycle commuting and mountain biking.
Ayanda Nxusani is a Masters student in the Historical Studies Department at the University of Cape Town. Her research focus is on how trauma and traumatic experiences are passed down generationally through the female form in black families. Her Honours research in Justice and Transformation in the Politics Department focused on how the understanding of transmission of trauma intergenerationally can help us better understand South Africa’s born free generation. In 2016, she pursued a graduate certificate in Interfaith Dialogue at Hartford Seminary in the United States.
Ayanda is also interested in transformative theological models of engaging gender and sexuality within the Christian framework.
Siphokazi Jonas is a storyteller and ordinary lives fuel her work in poetry and in theatre. Her experience of growing up in Komani in the Eastern Cape, during the transition years of South Africa’s democracy, has an on-going influence on the kinds of stories which she tells. Her work engages questions of faith, identity, gender-based violence, cultural and linguistic alienation, black women in rural spaces, and the politics of the everyday. Siphokazi’s engagement with writing and performance extends to the academic field. Until 2017, she worked as a tutor and Teaching Assistant at the University of Cape Town. Here she taught on the history of isiXhosa praise poetry, performance poetry, and South African literature. Further, she runs short-term poetry workshops with schools in Cape Town and Johannesburg. She also guest teaches a spoken word class at an elementary school in Gainesville, Florida.
Stephan de Beer is Director of the Centre for Contextual Ministry at the University of Pretoria and lectures in the Department of Practical Theology. Between 1993 and 2012 he led the Tshwane Leadership Foundation, an ecumenical movement committed to urban communities that are radically inclusive. His passions are in the areas of socio-spatial justice, urban theology, child theology and inner city housing.
He has two daughters, Goitse and Kiki, who keep him somewhat sane.
Jeanet Sibanda is an ordained Minister in the Church of the Nazarene who is passionate about community transformation. She is dedicated to working with individuals and communities towards kingdom living. She loves creating learning spaces where self-discovery and human dignity flourish. Her past experience includes working as Child Development and AIDS ministries coordinator for Helping Hands Africa with responsibilities of training, directing and coordinating programs.
Currently, she serves as a chairperson of Ujamaa Collective, and a freelance trainer on women’s health related issues for The Dignity Campaign, Community Health Evangelism facilitator, and part-time lecturer in Public Theology. All of these enable her to concoct learning spaces where transformation can take place.
Alan Storey is an ordained Methodist minister serving through the Central Methodist Mission in Cape Town. Alan believes: To take the whole bible literally is an absurdity; Jesus would much rather be taken seriously than worshiped; The division of the world into saved and un-saved is hate speech; The holy land is not a place to visit but every place to value; There are around 7.2 billion chosen people in the world; The day will come when all guns will be turned into plough-shares (Alan was one of the founding members of Gun Free South Africa); the Church must ask the Queer community for forgiveness for its bigotry and exclusion as a matter of urgency; Inequality is a weapon of mass destruction. Alan has an Honours degree in Theology and a Masters degree of Philosophy of Applied Ethics in Economics.
Laura Singh believes that she is "the dream and the hope of the slave" and it has been the hard work of generations before her that has contributed to the life she has now. Her heritage has taught her about hard work and focus, that dreams and hopes don’t just happen and that when faced with injustice, you can, and should, do something about it. She identifies with the rebels who challenge these systems of injustice.
She is co-founder of Outliers, an organization supporting more than 120 after-school programmes to provide free education support to 6500 students in communities. She is passionate about helping others discover their unique identities in Christ, and to then live out their purpose.