Being passionate about the development and growth of Africa’s youth, we strive to…

  • Bridge the digital divide between rural and urban children. Give the best educational start similar to children in the cities and equip rural children for success in a competitive world.
  • Invest in human capital by providing support and guidance to the youth in order to give them a chance to hone their skills,— both professionally and personally.
  • Create opportunities, scope, and space for the development of talents of the youth in order to close the gap between the skills they already possess and those which are actually demanded by the industries and the progressing society.

R_Ignite NPC

(pronounced Ree Ignite) founded by Pindelwa Mda in 2021 supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, and 4.

“I was born in the Eastern Cape in Viedgesville but grew up in Butterworth and did my primary school education there, where my father, Mda Mda was an attorney. My mother Dorothy Zanyiwe Mda sacrificed her teaching career and became a housewife so she could raise her children. She was a mother not only to her biological children but to many children in the extended family and in the community. Even though she was no longer teaching in the classroom, she never stopped teaching and uplifting others.

Significant credit should go to her as she was in the forefront of ensuring the community of Viedgesville had important facilities such as a Health Center and a Primary School that exist there today. In Nyokana in Willowvale, she found a community that had not converted to the Western way of living, where it was common practice for children not to attend school. She used to go door-to-door, engaging families, and convincing them to send their children to school. Where families had no means, she provided them with clothes and books. It is thanks to her that children in many of those families went to school with some progressing to high school. Dorothy wanted people to be the best they could be and always turned her concern for societal wellbeing into action that had positive impact in the lives of the people she touched.

These lessons never left me throughout my upbringing and later in my 35-year career in Corporates. For 26 years, I worked for Nestlé, the biggest food company in the world, and had the great opportunity to work and travel in many countries around the world. In my last years in corporate (2017 – 2020), I worked as the Deputy Head of Global Public Affairs, based in Nestlé headquarters in Switzerland. I loved my job and enjoyed living in Switzerland, but I just could not erase the image of hopelessness I saw in people’s faces every time I came home to visit Viedgesville and Nyokana. These are communities where unemployment is over 70% and young people have resorted to alcohol and drugs as an escape.

Whilst I was making a great contribution to Nestlé and bringing to life an African perspective to a global stage, I felt Africa was calling me back. I had achieved more than I could have ever imagined but when I thought of those in my communities who were not as fortunate as I was, I thought of the path my mother had traversed. I thought of the sacrifices that paved the way for me and I just could not ignore the call to return home to give back to the place that gave so much to me. I then took early retirement so I could return to South Africa to start a new chapter and implement plans to re-ignite hope in the communities that need it the most. COVID has not only exacerbated the terrible conditions in rural areas but has also exposed the ugly inequalities in the world. This new reality brought a sense of urgency to start the work. The truth is, we could make a positive impact and build better societies if we individually and collectively show more care for one another. We can achieve a lot by pulling all our resources, (financial, knowledge, expertise, time, and manpower), and we could all give back no matter how big or small.

Through my 35 years in the corporate world, I gained so much knowledge, skills, and competencies, and now I have the opportunity to transfer these and use my experiences to uplift and empower others. I have the honour and privilege of picking up the baton and follow in my mother’s footsteps through the work I aim to do with R_Ignite NPC. I am fortunate and grateful for the individuals joining me in this journey, people who are voluntarily giving their time and sharing their skills and passion to make a change. I am a product of the environments that today go unseen and unheard and through partnerships / collaboration, we want to renew communities through purpose driven projects. Our projects aim to be a collaboration with children, young people, their parents, the public, leaders, and educators to develop restorative and sustainable ways of rebuilding lives one community at a time.

We want people to know that being born in rural areas does not mean that life is doomed with no future. With the right support, passion, purpose, and information, one can achieve whatever the mind can conceive. Being successful, should not result to cutting ties with your roots. Leaning on each other and caring for one another is the starting point to building a better tomorrow. Finally, we want mature adults and retirees to know that there’s life after retirement. New-found purpose can show up in your life in many ways and more times than not, the opportunities to do more are much closer than you think.”

Our

Team

Pindelwa Mda

Founder & Director

A purposeful leader and seasoned business developer with over 25 years experience in FMCG. Wealth of more than 15 years experience as an executive and non-executive board member. Stakeholder and Opnion Leader engager. A coach and a mentor who has groomed multitudes of young people.

Dr. Serigne Diop

Associate

Minister advisor to the President of Senegal. An agronomist and holder of several patents in the agri-food sector. Previous Director and Head of the Nestlé Research Center in Africa. Current Mayor of Sandiara and Social Entrepreneur experimenting a local version of the Emerging Senegal Plan through the creation of an industrial zone which groups several companies.

Tinyiko Mda

Alternate Director

A talented Visual Developer and Illustrator of realistic visual effects in video games, movies, television and books. A creative designer of characters, sets and environments.

Yongama Njisane

Director

Board member at Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation. A seasoned economist and strategist. Wealth of experience in local and global regulatory frameworks.

Mathapelo Kutumela

Director

Experienced Financial Controller with strong Analytical Skills and a demonstrated history of working in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), particularly the food & beverages industry. Skilled in Budgeting, Business Planning, and Internal Audit. Strong finance professional with BCom (Finance) from the University of Johannesburg.

Yongama Njisane

Director

Board member at Goldilocks and The Bear Foundation. A seasoned economist and strategist. Wealth of experience in local and global regulatory frameworks.

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