Odifentse (Odi) Lehasa is a Master in Information Systems graduate, from Johannesburg, currently completing her second Masters degree in Entrepreneurship at the Wits Business School. She is an entrepreneur, focusing mainly on her two passions, food and technology, and has thus established The Rain Queen Company and Big Heart Technologies.
Through her time as Miss Commonwealth South Africa 2017, a lecturer and a computer literacy teacher in Grahamstown (Eastern Cape), Odifentse discovered her passion in education and her desire to serve the marginalised, deprived and under-resourced communities in Africa.
Her life mission (purpose) is to achieve sustainable poverty alleviation, through establishing technology-driven knowledge and leadership centres (schools and academies), to service the youth across the African continent.
Having broken several societal barriers and being the first and only one in her generation to complete tertiary education, she lives by the following quote: “No matter how bad it is, or how bad it gets, I’m going to make it” (Les Brown).
Deidre Foster hails from Cape Town, in the Western Cape. She holds qualifications in foundation phase education, Public Administration as well as Public Relations.
Deidre has worked for the Provincial Government in excess of 20 Years. Starting out with an entry level post and no experience, to holding a senior position, with experience in Communication and Stakeholder relations. She notes that her understanding of brand development, brand positioning and developing her department’s Marketing and Communication strategies has prepared her for joining the Siyazana Team. Deidre also enjoys public speaking and has emceed many official events. She is currently the spokesperson for her office and her current portfolio sees her frequently travelling to the outskirts of the Western Cape often doing outreach in the poorest of rural communities.
In 2013 Deidre married her best friend and together they have two beautiful boys. Deidre has recently joined her community watch organisation where she acts as the secretary. It goes without saying that she loves communities, and believes that any small contribution will go a long way in achieving shared visions.
Nigel is the Chief Executive Officer for the Enterprise Development Property Fund (EDPF) who has been appointed as the enterprise development partner to the SA Institute of Black Property Practitioners (SAIBPP).
Working with the Property Sector Charter Council, SA Black Entrepreneurs Forum, Shanduka Black Umbrellas, Government and non-Government Institutions and the Banking and Property Sectors at large, EDPF has set out to transform the R5.8 trillion Property sector that has been slow or unwilling to be part of the transformation process.
The main focus of the EDPF is to change the way South Africans think about property and to change the LANDscape of ownership in South Africa so as to create opportunities for HDI’s in the sector.
Previously the Director of Operations for Billion Asset Managers, Nigel has over 15 year’s industry experience across a wide range of sectors within the property industry.
After achieving his B Comm at UWC Nigel worked in several industries as a business development and BBBEE consultant he embarked on a career in property by joining JHI as a property and financial manager looking after several portfolios in the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Natasha Miller is an entrepreneur, business owner and Director of Victofusion (Pty) Ltd and Natasha Miller Virtual Administration, with more than 20 years’ experience in marketing, communication, event management and administration.
Natasha has strong communication skills geared towards both event leadership and providing outstanding customer service. She thrives when working in a fast-paced environment, is organized, highly motivated, and detail oriented. She has also proven her ability to efficiently multitask on special events, any given tasks and to accurately implement last minute changes, as needed by the client.
After completing her Diploma in Business Communication at UNISA, she studied Event Management at CPUT. Her passion for events and people, led her to building a career in the corporate and private sectors. Natasha understands the demands of project management, co-ordination and relationship building between business entities and stakeholders. She brings corporate expertise to smaller business units, allowing management and owners to achieve their strategic goals. Her clients includes co-ordination of events and projects for SASLAW, Investec, Engen, Media 24,SABC, The Shuttleworth Foundation, Cadiz Financial Holdings and various NPO’s
Natasha is currently serving as the Chairperson of the Board
Ian is the founder and current CEO of Siyazana Youth Development Fund (a role that he performs free of charge).
Ian come with over 20 years’ experience in both finance and Business Development fields and has a special interest in the social development of children and adolescents affected by chronic illnesses especially those born with the HIV virus. Ian specializes in alternate fund raising and running various NPO’s fund raising departments.
After doing his B Comm (UNISA), Ian completed his Post Graduate in Business Development with UCT Graduate School of Business where he developed the skills and understanding needed to run high paced environment’s. Ian is currently full time employed and offers almost all his spare time to the development of Siyazana Youth Development Fund.