Back to Africa Check

Meet our team


Alphonce Shiundu

Kenya editor

Alphonce Shiundu joined Africa Check in January 2017 as Kenya editor. He was previously parliamentary editor of Standard Group Plc. Before then, he was a journalist at the Nation Media Group. He has experience and expertise in new media training, newsroom convergence and publishing technologies. He holds a masters degree in media and development from the University of Westminster, London; a bachelors in information sciences from Moi University in Kenya. He’s a Chevening scholar; an alumnus of the School of Authentic Journalism (Mexico), the Professional Fellows Exchange Programme (Washington DC), and the Young African Leaders Initiative (Nairobi). He believes in holding power to account. In his free time, he climbs mountains.

Dancan Nanyanga Bwire


Dancan Nanyanga Bwire is a creative writer and an enthusiast of international affairs. He joined Africa Check as a research intern in February 2019 and has been working as a researcher at Africa Check since August 2019. He holds a master of arts degree in international studies from the University of Nairobi and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from Maasai Mara University in Kenya. Dancan has previously had internships at the Kenya News Agency, Consolata Media Centre and has written on security, entertainment and human-wildlife conflict. Prior to joining Africa Check, he worked with The Standard Group Plc as a graduate trainee with sub-editing roles on the Standard digital platform.

Grace Wairimu Gichuhi


Grace Wairimu Gichuhi is a storyteller, writer who always aims at informing the misinformed and tell stories with accuracy and fairness. She holds a bachelor degree in linguistics, media and communications from Moi University, Kenya. Prior to joining Africa Check in June 2019 as research intern and researcher since December 2019, she was a graduate trainee at Standard Media Group Plc where she worked as a sub-editor for the standard digital platforms. In between posts, she has also worked as an editor and proofreader for Techish (an online platform that provides the public with insightful tech opinion pieces and gives honest technological gadget reviews). Grace has also previously worked as a volunteer News anchor at Kenya Television Service (a school-based T.V. station).

Tess Wandia

Senior researcher

Tess Wandia is a researcher, project coordinator, an enthusiast of all things internet and African stories. Keen on discovering new and existing uses of technology, she seeks to explore how communities in their diversity, interact with and are impacted by technology. Tess has worked with various organisations: iHub Nairobi, Freedom House, Netalitica and networks such as DIODE and GeDIA in various research capacities, where she contributed and expanded her expertise in investigating various internet governance and digital rights themes. In 2017 she was recognised as one of the next generation of women in internet governance in Africa, for her work with marginalised groups such as women and children, that explored their experiences online and how they can be safer online.

Makinia Juma Sylvia

Senior researcher

Makinia Juma Sylvia joined Africa Check as a senior researcher in April 2021. She was previously a verification researcher and senior fact-checker at Pesacheck, Code for Africa’s fact-checking projectBefore then, she was a content editor at West Media Ltd and a proofreader and editor at Nonotes. She began her career at Egerton University as a library intern specialising in information literacy and retrieval. She has experience in training journalists on fact-checking and information verification techniques and has also produced a number of fact-checks on different topics. Makinia has a bachelor's degree in Information Sciences from Moi University in Kenya and is pursuing her Master of Science in Information Science at Kenyatta University.

Gloria Mwivanda


Gloria Mwivanda is a photographer and writer. She is a storyteller who believes in telling well-rounded stories. Gloria is a communication major at Daystar University in Kenya, and she lives and works in Nairobi.

South Africa

Lee Mwiti

Chief editor

Lee Mwiti is chief editor of Africa Check, having joined on 1 September 2016 as deputy editor. He has experience of reporting Africa’s geopolitical economy, having previously been deputy editor at the pan-African focused Mail and Guardian Africa and a senior Africa-focused writer at the Nation Media Group – east and central Africa’s largest media house. Lee holds a masters degree in international studies from the University of Nairobi, a bachelor’s in biomedical sciences and a certificate qualification in journalism. He is a recovering pedant – and a failed polymath.

Cayley Clifford

Deputy chief editor

Cayley Clifford joined Africa Check as Deputy Chief Editor in May 2022, having previously occupied a research role within the organisation since 2018. She has experience fact-checking important claims around migration, crime and health in South Africa, and also enjoys investigating social media scams. Prior to joining Africa Check, Cayley worked at the South African Institute of International Affairs where she led the programme on Russia-Africa relations. She has a first-class master's degree in international relations from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Keegan Leech


Keegan Leech graduated from Makhanda’s Rhodes University in 2019, with a Bachelor of Science degree in English literature, applied mathematics, and physics and electronics. He started working as an Africa Check researcher in February of 2020. Although his degree focused heavily on science and physics, he has a passion for all kinds of research and discovery, and spends much of his free time reading and learning new things. He is a nerd, dog person, and a lover of poetry. His research interests include popular science and the environment.

Kirsten Cosser


Kirsten Cosser joined Africa Check as a researcher in January 2022. She holds a master of arts in social and psychological research from the University of the Witwatersrand and a bachelor of social science honours in psychology from the University of Cape Town. She is perpetually curious about the human mind, and enjoys reading sci-fi, making art and exploring new places.

Taryn Khourie

Data & project researcher

Taryn Khourie holds a bachelor's degree majoring in English literature and media studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, and an honours degree in media studies from UNISA. She joined Africa Check in April 2019 as a research intern and has worked up to become Africa Check's data and project researcher in November 2022. Among her duties, Taryn manages the "What's Crap on WhatsApp?" project. Her hobbies include playing several instruments, sketching, and painting. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, where she was awarded the Professor Jeff Johnston Study Abroad Scholarship.

Geruza Bumba


Geruza Nzongo Bumba joined Africa Check as a researcher in September 2022. She holds a law degree with modules in English literature, French, and political science from the University of Johannesburg. Her interest in all things current affairs was heightened in her role as news editor of her alma mater's student newspaper, and later as a researcher and producer for the television show - The Big Debate's season 11. Prior to joining Africa Check she was as a PR practitioner.

Mary Alexander

Head copy editor and Facebook programme coordinator

Mary Alexander joined Africa Check in May 2018, tasked with making our fact-checks clear and readable for everyone. She also manages our Facebook fact-checking programme. Mary has 30 years of experience in publishing, 16 of them online. She’s worked in newspaper, magazine, educational, book and online publishing in overlapping roles: writer, illustrator, researcher, editor, webmaster, designer and project manager. Her site South Africa Gateway tells the stories of South Africa and the rest of Africa in essays, data, graphics and animation.

Ester Levinrad

Copy editor

Ester Levinrad, a freelance editor and editorial project manager, joined Africa Check in June 2019 as a copy editor. She started her career as a magazine journalist, dipped briefly back into academia, and has for the past decade worked predominantly in the book trade, as an editor at Kwela Books, a publisher at Jacana Media, and most recently as a publisher at Jonathan Ball Publishers. Ester has edited and published books across a variety of genres, from poetry and memoir to cookbooks and financial self-help. She holds degrees from the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University.


David Ajikobi

Nigeria editor

David Ajikobi joined Africa Check as Nigeria editor in November 2016. He was previously an Editor/Producer at Channels Television with about a decade of experience across different media platforms. He was one of the pioneer News Editors/Producers at 99.3 Nigeria Info, 96.9 Cool FM and 95.1 Wazobia FM in Lagos. Earlier in his career, he was Metro Editor at NEXT Newspaper ( published by African-born Pulitzer Prize winner, Dele Olojede. David has a bachelor’s degree in zoology at the University of Lagos and a masters degree in media and communications with distinctions, from the Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.

Motunrayo Joel

Nigeria deputy editor/health researcher

Motunrayo Joel joined Africa Check as Nigeria deputy editor/health researcher in February 2018. She has a deep understanding of Nigeria's health sector. Prior to joining Africa Check, she worked at Punch Newspaper where she won awards including the Nigeria Academy of Science award. She has certificates in early childhood education and disability reporting. She holds a masters degree in international human resource management from Rome Business School, and a bachelor of arts in journalism from Midrand Graduate Institute (now called Eduvos), Johannesburg.

Allwell Okpi

Researcher & community manager

Allwell Okpi joined Africa Check as researcher and community manager in January 2018. As a trained journalist, his newsroom experience spans eight years: reporting and editing at NEXT Newspaper and PUNCH Newspaper. Allwell has also led content development for leading strategic communications consulting firms in West Africa – C&F Porter Novelli and Chain Reactions Nigeria (an Edelman affiliate) – and in those roles, helped develop and deploy strategies for consumer marketing, advocacy campaigns, media relations and crisis communication. He has a masters degree in marketing and communication from Rome Business School; a bachelors degree in geology from the Federal University of Technology Minna; and certificates in digital journalism from Reuters; public relations from the Metropolitan School of Business and Management, UK; persuasive writing and public speaking from Harvard University, and leadership from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana.   

Catherine Olorunfemi

Junior researcher

Catherine Olorunfemi joined Africa Check as editorial project coordinator in June 2020. She was previously a content developer at CloudWare Technologies, where she built and managed websites with WordPress, organised and handled training, created and edited short videos, as well as managed social media platforms. Before that Catherine served as a news reporter and producer at Diamond FM, University of Ibadan as well as at the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State. During her undergraduate days, Catherine was assistant editor for The Interpreter, a departmental magazine for the department of Mass Communication. Also, she was one of the editors of Oasis News Bulletin. Catherine has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication from Adekunle Ajasin, University Akungba Akoko Ondo State.

Abisola Olasupo

Editorial project assistant

Abisola Olasupo joined Africa Check as an editorial project assistant in August 2021. Before joining Africa Check, she was at The Guardian for three years, where she created textual and multimedia content across all the newspaper's digital platforms. She was one of the four African journalists selected for the third edition of Paradigm Initiative’s Digital Rights and Inclusion Media Fellowship in 2020. Abisola has a bachelor’s degree in English and literary studies from the University of Ibadan. As an undergraduate, she was the treasurer of the university's chapter of the National Association of Students of English and Literary Studies (NASELS).

Oluseyi Awojulugbe


Oluseyi  Awojulugbe joined Africa Check as a researcher in March 2021. She was previously a senior staff writer with The Cable newspaper. She has five years of journalism experience covering finance, oil and gas and the economy. Oluseyi won the APO Group Prize for journalism in 2019 and was runner-up at the 2019 PwC Media Excellence Awards. She has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Ibadan. As an undergraduate, she was editor-in-chief of Agropress, the student journalism arm of the Faculty of Agriculture.


Valdez Onanina

Chief editor

Valdez Onanina has held this position since September 1, 2022. He began his adventure at Africa Check in April 2016 as a permanent contributor before successively being appointed to the position of researcher and community manager from July 2017 to February 2020, senior researcher and digital communications coordinator until February 2021, and then deputy editor-in-chief until August 2022. Valdez has a degree in journalism, including working for the Senegalese News Agency and Alerte Info News Agency. He was also an intern at the United Nations Information Center in Dakar. He holds a masters degree in media and communication from ETICCA Dakar and an MBA in political communication and influence strategies from Madiba Leadership Institute in Dakar. He has a keen interest in access to public information.

Dieynaba Thiombane


Dieynaba Thiombane joined Africa Check in July 2019. Her work is mainly focused on fact checking on Facebook. Dieynaba holds bachelors degree in Journalism and Communication from Centre d’Etudes des Sciences et Techniques de l’Information (CESTI) in Dakar. She studied Modern Literature at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar and was a reporter-trainee for the daily Le Soleil. She was also editor for Senagriculture, specialising in agriculture, livestock and agribusiness.

Faysal Arnold Boukary


Faysal Arnold Boukary is a journalist, passionate about sports, culture and reading. He graduated in journalism and communication at Ejicom in Dakar. He also holds a degree in telecom engineering and has worked for the pan-African media Ouestafnews and the online platform Vu d'Afrique. Creator of the platform for African soccer passea10, he joined Africa Check as an intern in January 2022.


Fatoumata Bintou Ba


Fatoumata Bintou Ba is a third-year journalism student at Cesti in Dakar. In 2020, she was a finalist in the African Fact-Checking Awards in the category dedicated to journalism students. In recent years, she has completed internships with various media outlets including Le Soleil, Enquête and Walfadjri, which occupy an important place in the Senegalese media universe. She studied economic and social administration at the Virtual University of Senegal. 


Ass Momar Lô


Ass Momar Lô joined Africa Check in October 2018 as an editorial assistant and part-time contributor. Presently, he is a researcher. Ass Momar holds a master degree in English studies from University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar as well as a bachelors degree in Journalism and Communication from Centre d’Etudes des Sciences et Techniques de l’Information (CESTI) in Dakar. Before joining Africa Check, he was an intern at West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR). In 2019, he obtained a special diploma in Leadership in Public Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as part of the YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) program.

Coumba Sylla

Deputy editor in chief

Coumba Sylla is a journalist based in Dakar. She began her career in the mid-1990s at ORTM, the Office of Radio and Television Broadcasting of Mali, her country, before her journalism training at the Centre d'Etude des Sciences et Techniques de l'Information (CESTI), in Senegal. Polyvalent journalist (radio, print, TV, cinema), she worked from 2001 to 2017 at Agence France-Presse (AFP) and collaborated in the past 25 years with various press/media outlets in Senegal and abroad, including WalFadjri, Le Film Africain et du Sud, TV5, RFI, BBC, Planète Jeunes, Planètes Enfants, Ouestaf News. From January to December 2018, she was Health Editor at Africa Check in Senegal. From June 2021 to May 2022, she was coordinator of Diisoo Ngir Aaru, a project with interactive radio drama in Wolof produced by Africa Check to help fight misinformation about Covid-19 and its vaccines in Senegal. She then worked as a senior researcher until August 2022, before becoming the deputy editor in chief as of September in the Dakar office. She is passionate about culture and interested in the humanities.

Project Team

Noko Makgato

Executive director

Noko Makgato took over as Africa Check’s executive director on 1 June 2019. He joined Africa Check on 1 September 2016 as deputy director. With over two decades of experience in media, Noko has a deep understanding of the industry coupled with expertise in news gathering and newsroom management, content management and distribution. In various senior roles, Noko has led several editorial and creative teams successfully in print and digital. He recently served as assistant editor responsible for news at Business Day/Financial Mail. In his previous role as managing director of digital agency Big Media, Noko was responsible for day-to-day operations and for shaping and implementing digital communications strategies for a wide range of clients. Noko holds an MBA degree and a national diploma in journalism.

Aniesha Bulbulia

Operations manager

Aniesha Bulbulia previously worked at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism (IAJ) as its Business Development Manager, from there she later moved to head the IAJ’s Communications Unit where she collaborated, built and made the department relevant to the needs of modern day journalists and communicators. Her business acumen, organisational skills and interpersonal relationship with clients, delegates and facilitators make her an asset to the organisation. Aniesha is also a facilitator/trainer and a registered assessor with MICT-Seta.

Lwandle Mthombeni

Finance manager


Lwandle Mthombeni has over eight years of experience within the non-profit organisation sector, and two years in local government as a project accountant with a demonstrated history of working in the farming and the built environment industry. He is skilled in cash flow forecasting, financial statement analysis, variance analysis and also a solution oriented person. 

Carina van Wyk

Head of education & training

Carina van Wyk joined Africa Check in May 2019. Having worked as a journalist, content developer, sub-editor and trainer, she has almost two decades of experience in the fields of media and communications. She holds a master's degree in journalism and media studies from Wits University, as part of which she completed a research project on the impact of independent fact-checking on journalism practice in South Africa. Carina has extensive knowledge of the media landscape and experience in managing and conducting training for journalists, fact-checkers and communicators across Africa.

An-Li Theron

Head of partnerships & engagement

An-Li Theron joined Africa Check in June 2020. She has close to two decades experience in stakeholder engagement and organisational communication. An-Li previously headed the Strategic Communications Unit at the University of Johannesburg and subsequently found her niche in the Development and Fundraising Office at the university. An-Li is a firm believer that civil society has a vital role to play in developing democracy. She aligns herself to meaningful work with a societal impact, and she is passionate about assisting organisations in their sustainability by combining her business development, and storytelling skills to solicit funding and create mutually beneficial collaborations. She holds a BA Honours degree in Integrated Organisational Communication.

Laura Kapelari

Head of digital communication

Laura Kapelari joined Africa Check in September 2016. She was previously marketing and fundraising coordinator at SA Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind. Before this, Laura interned at Médecins Sans Frontières, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and SANGONeT, adding to her information technology and public information skillset. She holds first-class masters degrees in both International Relations and German Literature from the University of the Witwatersrand and has a diploma in Digital Marketing from the University of Cape Town.

Hlalani Gumpo

Impact manager

Hlalani Gumpo joined Africa Check in September 2020. She holds a PhD in programme evaluation from the University of Cape Town and has worked as a monitoring, evaluation and learning specialist for over 11 years across different development initiatives in early childhood development, substance abuse treatment and enterprise development. Hlalani started her career as an assistant lecturer, and before joining Africa Check, she was the monitoring and evaluation manager for TechnoServe South Africa. Her interests are reading and appreciating nature.

Thipe Maelane

Outreach coordinator

Thipe Maelane joined Africa Check in March 2020. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from the Pearson Institute of Higher Education and an honours degree with the University of the Witwatersrand. Thipe has always had a passion for writing, and is a big reader with an interest in politics. He has experience in the broadcast, online and public relations sectors as well as a keen eye for news. Thipe believes that the key to a progressive democratic society is access to accurate information. His research interests include the impact of fact-checking around African elections.

Dudu Mkhize

Head of outreach

Dudu Mkhize is a communications strategist  with over 10 years’ experience. She has spent the past four years as head of communication in the non-profit sector. Early in her career, Dudu worked as a television producer and director working on programmes like the Big Debate, Carte Blanche, Sifunukwazi, Tshisa and Phola for the SABC. Dudu was the Founder of aWoke Media, a non-profit organisation aimed at promoting the rights of vulnerable and marginalised groups. Through aWoke Media, Dudu consulted for the likes of the UN, Action Aid, Amnesty International and the Foundation for Human Rights. She holds an MBA and postgraduate diploma in business administration from Wits Business School, a bachelor of arts in audio-visual communications from the University of Johannesburg, and an advanced strategy certificate from La Verne University.

Misiwe Zulu

Finance officer

Misiwe Zulu holds a degree in BCom Accounting and Business Management, obtained from the University of Zululand in 2015. She has over three years of experience in finance, having previously worked as a trainee accountant at PM Management Services, then as a financial administrator at Royale Energy Group. Misiwe has a passion for numbers and solving financial problems. In her spare time, she listens to podcasts and music.

Paul John Vos

TRi Facts managing executive

Paul Vos is a management professional with over 30 years experience across the enterprise spectrum, including multinational media organisations, hospitality businesses, franchised businesses, small/micro enterprises, and start-ups. He has managed local operations of global corporations and diverse teams of individuals, directly and remotely, in Southern Africa and across Sub-Saharan Africa. He is an entrepreneurial self-starter and focuses on delivering predefined commercial outcomes, integrating well with performance-driven teams. Paul is on the faculty at MasterStart, helping deliver Wits Business School’s online partnership programmes, and holds an MBA from Milpark Business School. At home he's kept busy by two young adult kids, three cats and an author wife, and his hobbies include road running, reading, watching sport, compiling music playlists, and cooking for a family with rather eclectic tastes.

Keatlaretse Mills

Executive assistant

Keatlaretse Mills is a seasoned, meticulous and task driven executive assistant with over four years of administrative experience in working in a diverse range of organisations, including private sector, government agencies and non-profit organisations. Kea is equipped with exceptional ability to facilitate aspects of internal and external communications, support day-to-day administrative, financial, and operational functions by working collaboratively with high executives on multiple organisational levels with the utmost integrity and professionalism.


Elishua Ngoma

Data administrator

Elishua Ngoma joined Africa Check in May 2021. She is a philomath or lover of knowledge and enjoys learning new things, cross-cultural interactions and finding creative ways to solve problems. She holds a bachelor of arts honours degree in development studies from the University of the Witwatersrand and is currently studying towards a masters in e-Science. Elishua is passionate about humanity, innovation, the environment, and global development. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, reading, and watching Sci-Fi series and Asian dramas.

Tshiamo Mononyane

Digital communication assistant

Tshiamo Mononyane joined Africa Check in May 2021. She holds an honours degree in media studies, which she completed in 2019. In her bachelor degree, she majored in media studies and drama and film, which she completed at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2017. Having done visual arts in high school, Tshiamo began teaching herself digital art in 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and drawing illustrations.

Oreratile Serunye

Stakeholder communications intern

Oreratile Serunye joined Africa Check in 2022 as an intern. She graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2019 with a bachelor of arts in strategic communications, majoring in strategic communication and sociology. In addition, she holds an honours degree in strategic brand communication from IIE Vega School, which she obtained at the end of 2021. Oreratile is also interested in music, podcasts, series and reading.

Sarah Lubala-Smit

Info Finder & media literacy editor

Sarah Lubala-Smit joined Africa Check in September 2020. She holds an Honours degree in English literature from Rhodes University and an MSc in gender, development and globalisation from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Sarah has worked in the education non-profit sector for over four years. She has a deep love of literature and writing, and has been published in the Mail & Guardian, the Daily Vox and others.

Khumo Motaung

Marketing assistant

Khumo Motaung joined Africa Check in February 2018 as editorial and marketing assistant. Khumo is a third year LLB law student at the University of South Africa (UNISA) and holds a certificate in advanced radio from the Wits Radio Academy. She ventured into radio two years ago, producing as well as presenting content for a law-focused talk show on UNISA Radio. She also completed a radio programming internship with Jacaranda FM and VOW FM in 2017, where she gained experience in activations, project management and marketing.

Board Members

Anton Harber


Anton Harber, the chair of our board, is the Caxton Adjunct Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. He was a founding editor of the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian), Editor-in-Chief of eNCA and board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network. He wrote Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), winner of the Recht Malan Prize, and co-edited the first two editions of The A–Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/5) and Southern African Muckrakers: 300 Years of Investigative Reporting that Shaped the Region (Jacana, 2018)

Cami Mbulawa, CA

Cami MbulawaCA, our board treasurer, serves as an Executive within RisCura’s team that provides unlisted investment services for clients across all alternative asset classes such as private equity, infrastructure and private debt. She completed her articles at KPMG and worked for various companies in oil and gas, financial services and agri-finance. Cami’s passion for business and corporate governance led her to being appointed independent non-executive director in the asset management, printing, enterprise development, state-owned entity and tertiary education space.

Dapo Olorunyomi

Dapo Olorunyomi is the publisher of Premium Times, Nigeria’s leading investigative and online news platform, and has won many journalism awards over 35 years in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world. A former chief of staff at the anti-corruption Economic and Financial Crimes Commission he in 2004 founded the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Reporting and, after launching Premium Times he in February 2018 helped found, a fact-checking and verification platform to help combat the spread of fake news and misinformation in Nigeria. His academic career includes studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, in Nigeria, the American University in Washington DC and the University of Oxford in the UK.

Hamadou Tidiane Sy

Hamadou Tidiane Sy is a seasoned Senegalese journalist, and champion of independent, ethical and high-quality journalism. After working early in his career for major international media including Channel Africa, AFP and the BBC, he founded the award-winning Ouestaf News. For the past decade, he has dedicated time to training journalists, founding in 2011 a Journalism, Communication & Digital Media School in Dakar ( With Ouestaf News, he has taken part in major global investigative projects: Swissleaks, Fatal extractions, Panama Papers (with ICIJ). Through Ejicom’s partnership with Africa Check, Tidiane has been instrumental in the introduction and promotion of fact checking in francophone Africa.

Karien Bezuidenhout 

Karien Bezuidenhout is an advocate for openness and supporter of social entrepreneurs. As a director of the Shuttleworth Foundation, her core interest lies in social and policy innovation through practical interventions and sustainable social enterprises. Through her experience as board member to social change organisations and social enterprises across the world, she strives to make connections that accelerate learning. Karien studied business and economics at the business schools of the University of Stellenbosch and University of Cape Town.

Mandla Mchunu

Mandla Mchunu is the Chairman of the Africore Group, and a respected figure in South Africa’s political, legal, community and business circles. He lectured at the universities of the North and UND (UKZN); and was a guest professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago, USA. As the Director for the Center for Socio-Legal Studies at UND he co-pioneered the Street Law Programme in South Africa. In 1994 he joined the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) and in 1997 he served as the IEC’s Chief Electoral Officer. He has served in several leadership positions in the public and private sectors, e.g. as board member for multinationals such as Heineken and SAAB Grintek Defence (Pty) Ltd. He has led democracy support missions in the continent and served as an electoral observer for the UN, Commonwealth etc.

Paula Fray

Paula Fray is the managing director of the pan-African media training organisation frayintermedia which she founded in 2005. A former regional director for Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa, Fray was editor of the Saturday Star in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1999 to 2003. She serves on the boards of Media Monitoring Africa and IRIN news and on the panel of adjudicators of the Press Council of South Africa.  In 2015, Print and Digital Media South Africa honoured her as a Print and Digital Media Fellow in recognition of her contribution to the industry.

Pamella Makotsi Sittoni

Pamella Makotsi Sittoni is Executive Editor, Daily Nation, at the Nation Media Group in Kenya. Ms Sittoni has held several leadership positions, including serving as Managing Editor of The EastAfrican (2012 – 2018) and the Standard (2005 – 2006). She began her career at the Nation Media Group as a reporter in 1993, moving in 2003 to the Standard Group as Deputy Managing Editor. From 2006 to 2012, she worked as a Communications Specialist at UNICEF Kenya. In 2017, Ms Sittoni was named by the World Association of Newspapers as the Laureate of the Women in News Editorial Leadership Award for Sub-Saharan Africa. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, through the African Leadership Initiative. She holds a BA and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Communication from the University of Nairobi, and a Masters in Communication from the University of Leicester.

Judie Kaberia

Judie Kaberia is chair of the Africa Check Foundation board in Kenya, a subsidiary of Africa Check Trust. An award-winning multimedia journalist and media trainer of over 16 years of experience, she is a 2015 fellow of the Edward R. Murrow Programme for Journalists (Washington DC) and a mentor with the US Embassy programme for Female Journalists. She has also worked closely in media programmes with the Graduate School of Media and Communications at the Aga Khan University in Nairobi, UNDP and Heinrich Böll Stiftung. She has previously been East Africa coordinator for Germany’s Wayamo Foundation and a journalist and associate editor at Kenya’s Capital Group Limited.

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