As a teenager, I was “discovered” studying on an abandoned bus in the Alexandra Township by a teacher from the American International School in Johannesburg. That chance interaction changed the trajectory of my life; however, my friends were not so lucky. What I love about Kgololo Academy is that opportunities don’t come by chance. All children have the opportunity to be “discovered” and to create a better future for themselves and their families”
– M. Thulani Mbatha (Themba’s Dad, Class of 2028)
M. Thulani Mbatha – Co-Founder and Board Member
Thulani is a Public Private Mix Advisor of the University Research Corporation LLC. Thulani is from the Alexandra Township and is extremely passionate about education and the Alexandra community. Thulani is an international public health consultant with experience in strategic, managerial, and technical leadership. He has led programmatic and management operations in partnership with the South African Government to expand HIV/AIDS and TB services. He has capacity building, Pharmaceutical and Supply Chain Management, strategic partner coordinator, and proposal writing experience and has extensive fieldwork experience in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Malawi, and South Africa. Thulani holds a Masters in Public Health from the University of Tennessee and holds a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Berea College, Kentucky, USA.
Amelia Motsepe – Board Secretary
Amelia was born in Soweto, Johannesburg where she attended primary and high school. She later matriculated at Hluvuka High School, in a village near Elim, Limpopo. Amelia holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Master of Laws degree (“LLM”) from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C, U.S. After completing her LLM at Georgetown, she interned at the American Bar Association, their Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities project on HIV and AIDS.
Amelia did her articles of clerkship at Deneys Reitz Attorneys (now Norton Rose) and later worked as a researcher for the South African Institute for Advanced Constitutional, Human Rights and International Law. Amelia completed a year’s clerkship with the Honourable Justice Kate O’Regan in the Constitutional Court of South Africa where she dealt with complex issues of constitutional and human rights law. Amelia’s was also Law and Health Coordinator and Assistant Programme Manager for the Open Society Foundation (a global grant making operation founded by George Soros aimed to shape public policy to promote democratic governance, human rights and economic, legal and social reform), involved managing a portfolio of grants to advance law, policy, human rights, HIV and health more broadly in ten Southern African. Prior to this, she was a Senior Associate at Bowman Gilfillan attorney’s practicing in the Competition Law, Lobbying and International Trade department. This position involved working with both large international firms and local enterprises, which contributed in refining her business acumen and knowledge of the inner workings of a corporate structure, amongst other things. Amelia is passionate about health and education.
She is a co-founder of Reithuteng, a non – profit organisation that was established in October 2008, its purpose is to develop strategies for the educational and career development of youth from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. Amelia is currently an independent consultant at Mokgatla oo Tabane Consulting (Pty) Ltd and an author and editor of HIV and the Law in South Africa: A Practitioners Guide to be published by LexisNexis in 2015.
Kholisa Thomas – Board Member
Kholisa Thomas is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and International Relations. Born and bred in KwaMagxaki township in Port Elizabeth, she has a passion for education and community development.
She has 14 years’ experience in the Public, FMCG and Recruitment industries. Kholisa started her career working for the British High Commission and got involved in planning high level events such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development and well as the Prime Minister’s visit to the Common Wealth Heads of Government meeting. She then joined L’Oreal South Africa as a marketing professional, and was involved in launching the first L’Oreal Skin Care brand targeted to the South African market.
She is actively involved in her school and neighbourhood community. She currently sits on The Ridge School Parent Association and previously sat on the Committees of the Parktown Residence Association and Johannesburg Heritage Association. She also has non-profit experience through her involvement with the Ubuntu Education Fund, a township NGO based in her hometown of Port Elizabeth.
Kholisa is currently a Recruitment Professional at Stanton Chase International, a leading global executive search firm.
Kim Robinson – Council of Advisors
Kim Robinson is a Harvard educated attorney, Fulbright Scholar, internationally accredited commercial mediator, and member of the California Bar. Ms. Robinson leads Renaissance Strategic Solutions, www.renaissance-ss.com, a Johannesburg based consulting firm with an African and global reach. Renaissance provides legal, strategic, and creative consulting services.
Prior to founding Renaissance, Ms. Robinson was Executive Director of Student Sponsorship Programme, a South African non-profit trust. Previously, she was the Coordinator, Organisational and Leadership Development at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy. From 2001-2005, Ms. Robinson served as in-house counsel to the U.S. Agency for International Development in Botswana covering legal, policy, management, and development issues throughout Southern Africa. Ms. Robinson’s experience in the region dates from 1991 when she was a Human Rights Intern at the law firm of Smith, Tabata, Inc. She returned to South Africa as a Fulbright Scholar. Later she clerked for Justice Johann Kriegler of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Ms. Robinson was an associate at the law firm of Bingham McCutchen (now Morgan Lewis) in San Francisco and clerked for Chief Judge John T. Nixon of the U.S. District Court, Nashville, Tennessee.
Ms. Robinson is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Hunter College of the City University of New York.