Meet the team at Nal'ibali | Nali'ibali
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Meet the team behind the Nal’ibali magic! Based across the country, each one of these individuals works to bring the power of stories to as many South Africans as possible.

Meet the team


Yandiswa Xhakaza

CEO (Chief Executive officer)

Xhakaza brings a wealth of leadership experience, having started a private school in Centurion, Gauteng in 2016 and led the institution’s innovation and differentiation. She is committed to using business principles to solve complex social problems. Xhakaza has extensive experience in leading monitoring and evaluation teams and has committed her life to improving the quality of education in South Africa. She believes that reading is not just a building block towards the achievement of learning outcomes across subjects, but that, it is the cornerstone of all children’s future success in school. To be part of an organisation that is solely focused on instilling a culture reading in all 11 official languages is a huge honour and a privilege as the work of Nal'ibali will have long-lasting impact in the lives of the children we touch.


- Master of Business Administration (University of Pretoria's Business School, GIBS - 2019)

- Postgraduate Diploma in Management (University of the Witwatersrand - 2016

- Bachelor of Education (University of the Witwatersrand - 2009)

Yandiswa Xhakaza

CEO (Chief Executive officer)

Katie Huston

COO (Chief Operating officer)

Katie is the chief operating officer at the Nal’ibali campaign. Before joining the team, she spent three years supporting and learning from education champions as a portfolio manager at the DG Murray Trust. She’s also worked at the South African Education Project (SAEP); co-authored two ‘economics for dummies’ books; and represented South Africa at the Ultimate Frisbee world championships. A Marshall Scholar, she has a BA in Journalism (University of Massachusetts Amherst), an MA in Global Political Economy (University of Sussex), and an MSc in Social Anthropology (London School of Economics).

Katie Huston

COO (Chief Operating officer)

Ben Rycroft

CCC (Chief Communication and Content)

Ben joined the Nal'ibali team in June 2016. He has a BA degree from Stellenbosch University, a postgraduate diploma in Account Management from AAA School of Advertising and a qualification in Business Management from the Chartered Institute of Business Management. He has 17 years in the marketing and communications arena, five of which were spent living and working in Australia. His integrated 360° marketing skill set includes CRM, direct marketing, through-and-below-the-line advertising, design and digital. An avid reader, Ben also enjoys running, travel and socialising. 

Ben Rycroft

CCC (Chief Communication and Content)

Saleem Mukuddem

CFO (Chief Financial officer)

Saleem Mukuddem, joined Nal’ibali as our first Chief Financial Officer in March 2019. He is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in finance and operations which he gained across many industries both locally and internationally. He has worked for global brands like Ernst and Young (Bermuda), Harley-Davidson and the Open Society Foundation.  Saleem embraces technology and has a keen interest in leadership and team development.  Saleem is a keen sportsmen and loves movies and reading.

Saleem Mukuddem

CFO (Chief Financial officer)

Verona Engelbrecht

Executive Assistant

Communications and Content

Sally du Preez

Communications Specialist

Athenkosi Matyalana

Digital Specialist

Brigotte Naicker

Content Developer

Nosiphiwo Sifumba

Production and Translation Coordinator

Partnerships and Training

Nompu Ntsele

Partnerships Manager

Katherine Morse

MER Specialist

Sthembile Maja

Master Trainer

Bulelani Futshane

Partnerships National coordinator

Sithembiso Nhlapo

Gauteng Provincial Coordinator

Nompucuko Zakaza

Eastern Cape Provincial Coordinator

Righardt le Roux

Mpumalanga Provincial Coordinator

Sibongiseni Blose

KZN Provincial Coordinator

Khomotso Letsoalo

Limpopo Provincial Coordinator

Finance and Corporate

Laylah Hoofd

Support Services Manager

Govonne Moss

Finance Manager

Abigail Louw

HR Specialist

Bonelwa Nqabeni


Ibtishaam Salie

Support service coordinator

Audrey Ngqwina

Office cleaner