KIM WORRALL: CO-FOUNDER, CEO & DRAMA TEACHER
Kim grew up in the United Kingdom, Netherlands and South Africa, and attained her London’s Trinity College L.T.C.L. in Speech & Drama at Cape Town’s Waterfront Theatre School. She has worked as an actress, voiceover artist, speech & effective communication coach, radio presenter, public event speaker and make-up artist, not to mention designing, manufacturing and retailing a leading South African baby brand. Kim is passionate about helping people, young and old, to develop new skills and self-confidence.
“There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a child’s eyes light up from deep within when complimented or made to feel welcome and wonderful. At Amoyo our absolute priority lies in making every child feel appreciated for being part of our foundation, each and every day. It all starts with the words, ‘Thank you for being here, we are so happy that you are choosing to spend time with us.’ It’s as simple as that. At first the children don’t understand, they look confused, and then, over time, we watch them start to blossom. They smile, stand straight and make genuine eye contact. This is their first new life skill, a skill that can potentially take them to places they don’t even have the capacity to dream about yet. It’s an absolute honour to be the CEO of Amoyo. Please enjoy our journey with us.”
NANDIPHA SANDLANA: CO-FOUNDER & DANCE TEACHER
As a young girl, Nandipha trained in Gugulethu under Philip Boyd, the founder and CEO of Dance For All. In due course he employed her as his assistant teacher, after which she took part in an extensive three-year training programme with Jazzart Dance Theatre. She went on to teach children in underprivileged communities, eventually coming to Hout Bay with the Jikeleza Dance Project that has evolved and blossomed into Amoyo.
“Amoyo means development for the children of Hout Bay, not only the development of performing artists through discovering young talent and honing it, but also being part of changing South Africa by creating better citizens. By simply keeping children off the street, we can help to prevent them getting involved in drugs, or falling pregnant too early, or succumbing to any other negative social activities. I am there for the children when they need me; a role model.”
MANDISA QWESHA: CO-FOUNDER & DANCE TEACHER
Originally from Khayelitsha, Mandisa moved to Hout Bay when she was nine years old and has been dancing since she was 17. She has a diploma from La Rosa Spanish Dance Theatre and worked at the Jikeleza Dance Project for five years before co-founding Amoyo.
“For me to be part of the Amoyo family means making a difference in every child’s life, making them feel that they really belong somewhere and have a place where they are safe. When I started, at age 17, I would have loved to have the kind of support and guidance that people like Nandipha and Kim offer the children of Amoyo. I truly believe that we are the difference. Not every child is doctor or lawyer material, and if we can help one child choose a career that they can be happy with and benefit from, then ‘touch down!’ is what I say.”
Lindy is our CEO’s mum, but she is so much more than that. For many years, she and her late husband, Mike, ran Sorghvliet Lodge, a guesthouse in Hout Bay. ‘Sorgh’ means care and here they cared for one another, their guests, their animals, and their community. Through a previously existing dance organisation, they met teachers Nandipha Sandlana and Mandisa Qwesha. And the rest – as they say – is Amoyo history!
Our Amoyo children are becoming true diamonds of Hout Bay. Whether they are playing, practising, rehearsing or performing, they shine, they sparkle and they dedicate their energy to the best of their ability. Through self-awareness they learn to express themselves as their shyness dissolves and their self-confidence asserts itself. Learning the principles of respect for others gives them self-respect as they feel safe and appreciated for who they are.
Sharing and caring, having fun while working hard, and being grateful for every opportunity given – all of these make life’s challenges easier to meet. Amoyo’s STAFF aim to support one another from the ground up, learning the gifts and life values of one another and of each child as an individual living in a challenging environment. True dedication is of utmost importance in a child’s life. It gives stability and nurturing. Our staff set the example.
Amoyo believes in FAMILY and to this end we encourage contact with the families of the children, socially when and where possible, or at least by encouraging relatives to come along and watch practices or performances. Home visits are also arranged, should any problems arise, always putting the safety of the children first and foremost. We have attendance records which are followed up on if a child misses class and doesn’t provide a note.
A benevolent environment encourages trust, and TRUST is the backbone of Amoyo.
RESPECT – CONFIDENCE – INTEGRITY. These are the ingredients for a happy and successful child. Most important of all, however, life within Amoyo has to be FUN.
In short, we give our Amoyo children the tools to find their future as capable and confident adults in a challenging world.
As Patron, I am continually amazed and Proudly Amoyo!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
In addition to our CEO, Kim, we are blessed with three directors who play an active role in fostering our vision, values and integrity.
Lawrie Mackintosh, chartered accountant and ex-investment banker
I am a chartered accountant and ex-investment banker. After leaving the profession I managed a variety of businesses in South Africa and overseas, and was for many years a director of a theatre and television training school in England. I firmly believe that the future of South Africa lies not only in the best academic education of all of our children, but also in their personal development. And that is what Amoyo provides, through the medium of the performing arts: giving children, many from very poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, the life skills and self-confidence to develop successful careers in any occupation, and helping to nurture the future leaders in our community.
Jonathan Warncke. Creative director, creative brand strategist.
Jonathan has accumulated ten years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry
and currently freelances. He directs the production of marketing campaigns and advises
clients on identity, positioning, and creative strategy. In his spare time, he writes in many
different media and formats, and attempts to resuscitate the humble radio play.
“For me, dance and the other creative arts are just as important for a child’s development
as the STEM subjects. Through the thousands of human interactions, pushes and pulls,
involved in performance, Amoyo students will learn about humanity, and develop their
sense of empathy. Wherever they end up after Amoyo, they’ll understand more about
people, and they’ll go so much further because of it.
I don’t live in Hout Bay, and don’t work with the kids directly, so my contribution to Amoyo
is largely strategic. As Kim is a professional communicator herself, I’m really there to be an
objective sounding board and help solidify what to say to whom in order to get the best
Nurit Graff, Musical Theatre
Tankiso Mamabolo, Seech & Drama
SEAN WILKINS: CFO
Sean is a chartered accountant with extensive experience across a wide variety of industries and corporate transaction types. After seven successful years as chief financial officer of the RACEC Group Limited (incorporated into Grindrod Rail Construction in 2013), he decided to utilise his experience for the benefit of several owner-managed entrepreneurial businesses and start-ups – and Amoyo. “It is a privilege to be part of the Amoyo journey. Seeing the passion, dedication and commitment evolve from the whole Amoyo team through to the students and their families, and witnessing the impact Amoyo is having in the community, is life changing. This stuff matters!”
MARILYN NOBLE: OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR
A familiar face to many Hout Bayans, having previously worked at Wheelers Pharmacy, Marilyn danced for over a decade under Amoyo teachers/co-founders Mandisa Qwesha and Nandipha Sandlana – and she hopes to step in to teach our children herself from time to time. “When I dance, I don’t only dance with my body but also with my heart.”