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Bongiwe Mlangeni - Founding Director (Chairperson) 

Bongiwe Mlangeni is an independent consultant with expertise in leadership, communications, advocacy, and philanthropy. She consults for various top-tier organizations such as the Institute of Security Studies and Ford Foundation. Prior to her current role, she served as Vice President at the Global Health Strategies, a global consulting agency that specializes in communication, policy, and advocacy in public health.

 

Bongi started her career in journalism in 1994 and transitioned to communications in 2005, where she worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland until 2007. After taking a professional break to care for her children, she returned to work in 2012 as part of the founding team at Corruption Watch in South Africa, where she spearheaded branding and built a robust communications strategy and team. She later served as the Director of Communications at the Graҫa Machel Trust, where she led the development and execution of various communication initiatives. In 2015, Bongi pivoted her career into philanthropy and became the Executive Director of the Social Justice Initiative (SJI), a non-profit organization that facilitates philanthropic support for civil society organizations in South Africa. During her tenure, more than 100 non-profits were supported through the funding raised by the SJI.

 

She completed postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Wits Business School (WBS), earning a Master of Management degree with a focus on Public Policy from the Wits School of Governance. She serves on the board of the Learning Trust and the advisory board of the Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI) at WBS. Bongi also provides coaching and mentoring to young professionals and leaders as part of her voluntary services, showcasing her commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. She is a fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).  

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Paula Fray - Founding Director 

Paula Fray is the founding CEO of fraycollege – a pan-African accredited media training organization which focuses on providing practical workplace skills for journalists, communicators and business leaders. 


The first female editor of the Saturday Star newspaper in South Africa, Fray was the Regional Director: Africa for Inter Press Service overseeing a regional news agency publishing in English, French, Portuguese, Swahili and Arabic. 

In 2005 she launched frayintermedia, a content creation agency that specializes in communication strategy development and implementation including the production of development content across platforms. 


She is President of The New Humanitarian, a Geneva-based news agency, a board member of Africa Check and founding member of Accountability Lab SA. She serves on the board of the Aurum Institute and chairs the board of Youth Health Africa. 

Fray is a Print and Digital Media SA fellow and a public representative on the Press Council of South Africa. 


A recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she is a former member of the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board at Harvard. Fray graduated with a BJourn degree from Rhodes University and has a Woman and Law Certificate from UNISA. 

 

 

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Charmeela Bhagowat - Founding Director (Interim CEO) 

Charmeela Bhagowat’s work as a journalist over almost three decades includes reporting on negotiations leading up to South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, reporting on the Angolan civil war, and on developments in Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2002.

 

She has worked as a writer, sub-editor, news editor, foreign editor and executive editor across leading local and global newsrooms since 1991, including as managing editor of the Mail & Guardian.

She has also worked with a group of talented investigative journalists in Southern Africa to launch a shared services networking and fundraising organisation – the Investigative Journalism Hub (IJH) which serves investigative journalists and centres in the region. She was a founding director and managing partner of the IJH.

 

Bhagowat graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Rhodes University, is a Poynter Institute alum, as well as a Harvard Business School Online alum, where she was awarded a CORe certificate, focusing on fundamental business skills.


Committed to life-long learning, Bhagowat relishes the opportunity to work with people and organisations striving towards a more informed, just, peaceful and equal society. 

She chairs the fraycollege advisory committee and is a former training and managing director of frayintermedia.
 

 

 

Makhosi Jean Chiwashira  - Program Manager

Makhosi Chiwashira is the Programme Manager who will be responsible for Fund raising, resource mobilisation, programme management, reporting and communication.

Makhosi worked at Media24 for 14 years where she was involved in various skills development and training roles, the last one being Skills Development Manager. She has worked across SABC, Sunday Times and Deloitte. She has a strong Human Resources and Learning & Development background having been working in this field since 2004.

She has a passion for developing people especially focusing on young people and women. Over the years she has been at the helm of ground-breaking programmes that have helped transform the South African media landscape, including leading the funded digital publishing programme, with over 200 independent publishers which won Media24, the Best Skills Development Providers of learners in rural areas and townships in 2016. Makhosi ran a programme for people living with disabilities at Media24 for 5 years, and also ran the Grad24 programme for about 5 years.

Makhosi is also a B-BBEE expert and is a board member at the FP&M SETA since April 2018. She is also part of the SANEF Education & Training Committee.

 

 

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