Wilna is CEO of Africa Ignite, one of KwaZulu-Natal’s leading rural development agencies. Africa!Ignite provides extensive enterprise-development support to hundreds of youths and adults, particularly women, across KwaZulu-Natal’s rural areas. It has paid more than R16 million to rural entrepreneurs since 2008, and in the past two years paid R2 million to rural women crafters. Its leadership in rural developed can be attributed to its access to 120 development nodes across the province and the team’s extensive and decade-long experience working in rural areas.
It’s Not Made in China
Tracy Ruggier, a natural-born marketer and brand-builider who has the ability to think out-of-the-box as well as 20+ years experience in very diverse roles. In the marketing department of Camel (Japan Tobacco International), it was her job to increase sales in a declining market. She then jumped ship and became Youth Marketing Manager at the Heart Foundation. More recently she spent two years handling PR, sponsorships and marketing for Riaan Manser who cycled the perimeter of Africa and circumnavigated Madagascar and Iceland by kayak. She presently works in a freelance capacity helping small businesses to grow their brands.
Take Note Reputation Management
Dionne Collett, is the founder and director of Take Note Reputation Management. She has been involved with marketing and public relations for the past 15 years, 9 years within her own agency. Tourism, hospitality, lifestyle, medical and education are some of the areas in which she has enjoyed success. Dionne has participated as the Chair of the PRISA KZN region, sat on the Durban Fun Season committee promoting tourism to Durban, submitted case studies to the University of Cape Town and currently assists with the DUT Advisory Board. Dionne promotes the ‘push, pull’ factor with her clients ensuring that there is a good balance within their strategies to enable them to reach their objectives.
Paula Thomson is the manager of Woza Moya Income Generation Project of the Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust. She has a background in Fine Art and teaching and has a passion for crafts and job creation. Woza Moya acts as an agent for over 300 crafters, and Paula is involved in product development, marketing and customer management. She excels at being able to see the strengths in an individual and give them confidence to execute their idea.
Mars One Inhabitant
The thought of going beyond our world has been Divashen’s dream of mine for as long as he remember. Divashen has BSc degree double majoring in applied mathematics and physics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and he puts his education to good use towards realising his dream of being among the first humans to establish a permanent colony on Mars by 2027. He’s one of 100 people worldwide who could be among the first Mars astronauts. Divashen believes that we can responsibly inhabit other planets and advance our knowledge of science along the way.
John has a BScEng ( Civil) and a MScEng both from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal .He is a registered Professional Engineer. John has 28 year’s experience in the Waste Management Industry. His specific areas of competence are Landfill, Transfer Stations, Fleet Management, Research and more recently CDM, landfill gas extraction, waste treatment technologies and asset management. He currently holds the position of Deputy Head: Plant & Engineering in the Cleansing & Solid Waste Department (DSW) of eThekwini Municipality.
Briony Leigh Smith
Briony ’s passion for tourism was ignited at a young age and she soon began a journey that resulted in her working within a variety of tourism sectors – from corporate, domestic and incentive markets, to the inbound and hospitality sectors. She has also worked for stalwarts in the local and international tourism industry, such as Gooderson Leisure, Thompsons Tours and American Express. More recently, Briony was responsible for the Region Marketing Africa and Domestic team Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and prior to that, headed up the groups department at the inbound Scandinavian company Get Africa Travel for some six years. With over 17 years of tourism experience and an exceptional knowledge of the region, coupled with an insatiable desire to build our tourism sector, Briony can now be found doing what she does best – giving back and making travel accessible to all.
Karkloof Canopy Tours
Kai Schulz is the founder of African Fig, a company that focuses on capacity building, leadership development and enterprise development with both corporate companies and rural communities. In 2011, he bought Karkloof Canopy Tour, which he leverages to grow individuals and teams. Kai’s speaking career started in 2012 and he has addressed groups from all four of South Africa’s major banks as well as Engen, Stefanutti Stocks, Dunlop, Uniliver, Liberty, Mondi and many other smaller organisations.