Our Trustees

A bit more about the people behind our NPO

Tracey van den Brand

Tracey van den Brand

Trustee & Chair

Tracey worked for 20 years at a senior level in multi-national companies (DuPont, Lucite International, ICI) and ran her own successful businesses for 15 years.

An Honours graduate in Economics she has worked globally leading teams of up to 100 people in: business and marketing strategy, corporate and product branding, market development, Corporate PR, supply chain, sales, new product development, and mergers and acquisitions.

She worked in South Africa for the Industrial Development Corporation and at CEO level she had the opportunity to gather wide experience within large organisations which included re-engineering DuPont’s Supply Chain in Europe.  She then trained in Paris’ prestigious Business School, INSEAD, in Advanced Business Management.

Tracey has a strong track-record in delivery and team motivation, HR and Performance management and is a natural in developing people to unleash their full potential. Her cultural awareness has enabled her to successfully work with employees and customers across many cultures and countries.  She managed teams in 26 countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Her extensive experience at multi-national level has been enhanced by running her own businesses. She and her partner created a new market with a new South African product throughout Europe achieving over $2million in 4 years. Whilst financially successful her main motivation was to support the South African economy post-apartheid and especially women. Over 200 women were employed in South Africa as a result.

Tracey left the corporate world in 2006 to focus on socially oriented organisations including Non-Profits and Social Enterprises, and completed 4 years of self-development in Brennan Healing Science. She is currently the Trustee of a UK registered charity and runs her own healing practice and coaching business, Conscious Business Coaching.


Sboniso Phakati

Sboniso Phakati


I am Sboniso Ryan Phakathi, hailing from Pietermaritzburg, Kwa Zulu-Natal province in South Africa.

I work for a local organisation as a Project leader on initiatives rooted in the Greater Kruger spatial region (Mozambique and South Africa) focusing on the social dimensions of conservation.

My passion for the natural environment and community enrichment is rooted in the awareness of the indivisibility of the two.  My curiosity about humans and their relationship to the spaces/ environment/ ecosystems they form a part of is linked to my main interest, which is Social, and Developmental Psychology and generally ‘decluttering complexity’.

After 2 years of working as a yachtsman in the Indian and Mediterranean oceans, my entry into the field of community and conservation was somewhat unorthodox, and conceived out of the idea that “I want to work in the real Africa”. In retrospect, it’s laughable, because I am African, yet this thinking set me off on a now 15-year stint working in the Lowveld. I started my career as an anti-poaching guard, later establishing environmental education initiatives, to managing Expanded Public Works Programmes focused on youth, and now managing larger projects focused on social-ecological systems.

I am honoured to play a small part in the story of Zingela Ulwazi, as we collectively seek out knowledge and add tangible value to society!

Nomsa Thibela

Nomsa Thibela

Trustee & Vice Chair, Principal of Ntsoelemolodi Primary School

I, Thibela Nomsa Precious, am a teacher by profession and principal at Ntsoelemolodi Primary School since 2014 to date. I hold a Bachelor of Education (Honours) and am also qualified in mentoring, coaching, facilitation, and as an assessor and moderator. I am a junior pastor of Shekina Christian Fellowship and the first to facilitate Girls’ Club in our school. I introduced and taught teenagers about Mina cups to use during their periods. I am a permaculture teacher at school where we plant various organic vegetables to supplement the school nutrition programme and to assist the needy.
Stella Horgan

Stella Horgan

Trustee & Director

Stella Horgan (BA, Dip. Higher Education (UCT), Dip. Counseling & Human Services (U.La Trobe), Dip. Social Enterprise, (SSE)) is the Founder and Director of NPO Zingela Ulwazi. In 2012 she returned home to South Africa after 12 years in Australia where she had a private practice specialising in individual and group psychotherapy (Registered ACA 6252). Stella has a background in workshop design, facilitation and training, leadership and personal development, coaching, project management and film and television production. A year after being back in South Africa she launched Zingela Ulwazi. She works closely with communities neighbouring wilderness spaces; launched and co-ordinated the Acornhoek Leadership Forum (ALF) and brought together 130  rural organisations to participate in AWARD’s Civil Society Support Initiative.  Stella is a Senior Facilitator of the Hoffman Process (UK) and a board member of Australian wildlife advocacy group For the Love of Wildlife. Her meditation and artistic practice inform her engagement with life. Stella considers her main mission to find ways to rebalance human life with nature in an effort to create a regenerative way of living where all may thrive.

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