December Stakeholder Update
Today is our final day in office of 2023. As we reflect on the triumphs of our 20th anniversary year, it feels like the closing of a chapter. It’s the end of a five-year strategic window and it’s also the end of our journey together with this particular team configuration. It has been a momentous year, and I am left with profound gratitude for our team, our scholars who inspire us, and the support of our generous donors and partners. As we close out 20 years, it is beautiful to see Madiba’s vision for the foundation manifested in a true collective, wherein the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. Thank you to everyone who continues to play a role in our success.
We are delighted to announce that Coralie Anyetei has been promoted to Programme Director effective 2024. Coralie has shown great wisdom and an unending commitment to strengthening our Leadership Development Programme, and we look forward to seeing her continue to shape it to greater depths. Congratulations also to Jo Ferreira-Maisels and Edward Keenan Jacobs, who have been promoted to Associate Alumni Manager and Associate Programme Manager respectively, also effective 2024. We trust that these roles and the wonderful human beings that fill them will provide additional strategic and management capacity as we step into our next chapter of growth and impact.
We also say goodbye to Abigail McDougall-Fisher and Ayanda Radebe, who are leaving us to pursue exciting new career directions. We are in the final stages of appointing the new External Relations Director and Associate Communications Manager who we hope to welcome on board by late January / February 2024.
The first and second year scholars have all officially completed their MRF programmes for 2023! In the Second Year Programme, the three interdisciplinary teams of scholars presented their interventions aimed at making a positive socio-environmental impact through an interactive exhibition. Sector experts were invited, and they provided a breadth of expertise on the teams’ topics: how to make indigenous foods more accessible, connecting youth to heritage in the city, and the challenges and opportunities of designing interventions for townships as entrepreneurial “outsiders.” Well done scholars! The programmes team concluded the year with a two-day retreat to do thinking and conceptual work for 2024.
Established in January, the alumni working group has met regularly and has successfully initiated gatherings in several regions. The group has provided a channel and thinking space for alumni engagement with the MRF, has suggested a structure to carry its work forward, which we are currently considering. We thank the members for their contributions: Christopher Franklin (South Africa, 2020), Meshack Mboya (Kenya, 2017), Jabulile Sibeko (South Africa, 2017), Mary Silolezya (Zambia, 2017), Lerato Mpofu (Zimbabwe, 2016) Amir Rezaei (South Africa, 2014), and Henrietta Ifyede (Nigeria, 2018).
Introducing the Class of 2024
As always, we conclude the year on a high note! We have successfully selected 51 scholars from 18 countries for the Class of 2024. We are delighted to have scholars from three new countries: Mauritania, Mali and Sierra Leone, bringing our total of countries to 36. Get the know the class here.
Wishing all our supporters a joyful festive season.
Chief Executive Officer