Monday, 3 December 2012

Staff profiles - 3 of our team!

Meet Nokhanyo Nkani – OVC Programme Co-ordinator

You can sometimes find Nokhanyo Nkani bustling around her little office at the back of Vulundlela Centre; that is when she's not out on the road visiting the OVC Centres which she manages. Nokhanyo returned to Hamburg, her home village after a successful stint as Assistant Manager at Metro in Johannesburg. She wanted to use her professional skills to serve her own community.
In February 2012 she was recruited as shop keeper for the Art Project where her good leadership and management skills shone through. She soon got a feel for the diverse work there; processing orders, controlling stock, promoting in stores and attending exhibitions.
Her friendly & efficient manner led to an offer by the Education Manager to become OVC Coordinator, a busy job with three centres under her wing, making sure that they all run smoothly, and looking out especially for the orphans and most vulnerable children. Nokhanyo relates well with all the stakeholders and coordinates donations of food, toys, books and resources.
'It's very challenging work that I'm doing', she comments. 'But you just have to be yourself and take each day as it comes! We are trying to help people every day, for instance, sometimes there's a problem with their kids or food parcels or whatever and we try to sort it out. Every day brings something new and it's great to feel that I'm back here, working for my own people.'

Meet Novuyani Peyi – Art Project Co- Manager and Trustee

Novuyani Peyi is rightly proud of her qualification in Human Resources that she received in October 2012  from Damelin College. Novuyani works as Art Project Manager at Keiskamma Trust so it was quite a challenge at first to get to grips with the studying as well as sorting out transport and acccommodation. 'At first I thought I'll never manage this, but then it started to be fine and I was actually looking forward to it. Jan & Jackie,  from Keiskamma Friends UK, helped to pay for my studies, and people at the Trust were willing to help me in any way they could.  So I was very pleased when I didn't let them down and I could finally tell them that I had passed!
'I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who helped me do this especially Keiskamma Friends UK, everyone who wished me luck and everyone who supported and believed in me!'

Meet Nomfusi Nkani – Keiskamma  Artist & Art Project Assistant Manager

Sometimes people just meet and talk and new connections occur that you never expected! That's how it was for Nomfusi Nkani, one of our Keiskamma artists. When Carol Hofmeyr got talking to folk from  the Artist Proof Studios while at an exhibition in Cape Town and then found out that they were going to do a mural at the Steve Biko Foundation, Nomfusi was immediately interested in getting involved.

'I'd already done my own sketches about Steve Biko because I wanted to do a tapestry of his life and how it still has impact on young people today. So Artist Proof Studio invited me to submit my work and then I was really excited to get an invitation to join them in King Williamstown to be part of the team to create a huge wall painting'.

Nomfusi lights up as she talks about her experience, but she points out that it was no easy fortnight! 'The weather was apalling; we were working in the rain, and climbing scaffolding, and we were busy from 8 in the morning until 7 at night! But I got on really well with the artist and it was if I'd known him a long time'.

Nomfusi is even more keen now to secure funding to continue her reseach about Steve Biko and create her own work.' I really want to get Steve Biko's story on to tapestry and get our own people involved and feeling even more benefit from my collaboration'.