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Empowerment Through Education

Masinyusane embodies the term community organisation.  Our staff consists of community members and former beneficiaries.

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Zama, our Executive Director, brings a wealth of experience and passion to our organization. With an educational background in accounting, Zama has excelled in the corporate landscape of South Africa, contributing to the growth of numerous leading companies throughout his career.

As a successful entrepreneur in his own right, Zama has demonstrated an exceptional ability to innovate and lead. Having achieved remarkable success in both the corporate and entrepreneurial spheres, Zama has turned his focus towards uplifting our most impoverished communities.

His unwavering dedication to fostering the development of a new generation of leaders is at the heart of his work at Masinyusane. Through his efforts, Zama is driving the change needed to create a brighter and more equitable future for South Africa.

Zama Zulu

Executive Director

95% of our employees are female.

Our Founders

Our founders, Jim & Fiks had both achieved relative success in life, albeit on opposite sides of the world.  Jim in New York City's Financial District and Fiks in Johannesburg's entertainment industry.

The beneficiaries of countless opportunities and the love and sacrifice of many, both felt called to give back.

In 2008, they met in New Brighton, Gqeberha, and soon after, Masinyusane was born.

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Fiks is the "heart and soul" of Masinyusane. Passionate about community development, Fiks has been the guiding force in developing our initiatives, working with family to identify needs, and engaging with the community to ensure their involvement.

Fiks also left a promising career, albeit one in entertainment. He has acted in numerous films and theatre productions. Most famously, he starred in the role of "Simphiwe" on South Africa's popular television series 7 de Laan. Everyone in our communities knows that Fiks walked away from a career of fame and success and returned to help uplift others. He embodies everything Masinyusane represents.

Senior Manager

Fiks Mahola

* Additional coFounders include Thobeka Gaxamba, Tiksie Mabizela, and Fr Jerry Browne

Investing in Masinyusane is investing in the community .

 Over the past 5 years, we have created jobs for over 500 previously unemployed youth

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​Jim arrived in Gqeberha from New York in 2008 after leaving behind a promising career on Wall Street. He possesses an MA in Development Studies (Nelson Mandela University), a BSc in Operations & Research Engineering (Columbia University, NY), and a BA in Computer Engineering (Fairfield University, CT).


What drove Jim to come to South Africa was to be able to provide the same type of opportunities for others that he received growing up in the United States.  Upon arriving, he met some amazing people (see Fiks) who shared the same passion and belief in uplifting others through education. 

Jim has learned to speak isiXhosa, lived in the townships, adopted kids, and fallen in love with South Africa.

Jim Mckeown

Managing Director

Core Staff

Board Members

South Africa: Tiksie Mabizela (patron), Thobeka Gaxamba (patron), Fr Jerry Browne, Fr Ludwe Jayiya, Chulekazi Bula, Nathi Dwayi, Shelia Thysse, Prof Andre Mukhiebir.

United States:
Kunaal Bellara, Kellan Florio, Sarah Calhoun, Rachel Bixler, Tim Cork

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