William Bird

William studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where he obtained his BA and Honours degree in Drama and Film. He worked in television after completing his studies. Unable to resist the lure of media monitoring, William started with some part time monitoring for the Media Monitoring Project, now Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) in 1995 and after leaving television joined the MMA as a researcher. At MMA William has overseen or been directly involved in over 100 media monitoring projects on subjects ranging from gender based violence, HIV, and racism to children and the media. William has also completed overseeing the data analysis of the biggest civil society media monitoring exercise in the world – the Global Media Monitoring Project. For this project over 100 countries monitored gender around the world. William has also overseen the name change of the MMP to Media Monitoring Africa in 2008. William was appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2009 and also a Linc Fellow in 2010 for his work focused on children’s participation in the media. He is regularly accessed in the media on a range of media focused issues. In his twelve years as director of MMA William has helped MMA grow from a small 3 people driven organisation to a committed team of 16 people, with a clear vision and dedicated programme areas. William’s knowledge of media monitoring and commitment to deepening democracy in South Africa and the continent has ensured his expertise is internationally recognised In his spare time William likes to monitor the media when not otherwise distracted by his young sons.

Thandi Smith

Thandi Smith has worked for Media Monitoring Africa for about nine years and was recently appointed Head of Programmes for the organisation. She previously headed the Policy & Quality Programme which focuses on a range of issues including media policy, regulation, digital rights, internet governance, and quality journalism. She holds a Masters degree in Media Studies, obtained from the University of the Witswatersrand. Her dissertation examined issues of universal access in South Africa’s digital migration. She also obtained an Honours degree in Media Studies from the same institution. Thandi has a keen interest in research around new media, internet governance and media law.  

George Kalu

George was born and grew up in Kenya before moving to South Africa in 1995. He attained his BA Degree from Rhodes University Grahamstown majoring in Journalism & Media Studies and Political Science. In 2002 he graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies also from Rhodes University. George joined the Media Monitoring Project late 2003 as a media monitor, but having displayed such a flare and passion for the media in 2004 he became full-time staff member. Over the years, George has been involved in administrating and overseeing various monitoring projects, from 2008 until 2016 he was the head of Children’s Programme. In this position he was able to put his outstanding people skills, and ability to play and invent games with children into practice. In doing so George has become one of the leading experts in children participation. Currently George is wearing two hats, he is part of the senior management team with responsibilities and oversight on Human Resources and internal capacity and skills developments. Secondly, he is managing and coordinating regional projects for MMA.

Taryn Hinton

Is a practising attorney who obtained her Law Degree (BA LLB cum laude) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has 13 years’ work experience in many fields including children’s rights and media law; mentorship and the creation and administration of Educational Trusts to benefit high school and university level beneficiaries. Taryn is a people-oriented attorney, who has a passion for media freedom; child participation in the media and in society in general; social justice and social entrepreneurship. From a young age, she has had a heart for Africa and social transformation in Africa and studied to become an attorney so that she could make a difference in the lives of others. Taryn has worked closely with Media Monitoring Africa for the past 12 years and her roles at MMA include being the general legal advisor to MMA, a dedicated member of the children’s team as well the Coordinator of the Reporting on Children in the Media course, a Wits Honours Level Journalism certificate course that has been running for the past 11 years.

Nicky Mokoena

Nicky joined Media Monitoring Africa in November 2015 as Finance & Operations Manager. He studied for National Diploma in Accounting at former Wits Technikon and has over 10 years experience in the finance sector. He attended the Laser Leadership Academy for 3 years, to be trained as a great leader which he is hoping to become. He describes himself as a cool, calm & collected caring guy who grew up in a kasi called Daveyton maboneng. He likes reading the newspaper, watching TV news, movies & sports.

Bantse Pelle

Bantse started working for Media Monitoring Africa in 2016 as a monitor for the 2016 South African
local government elections. She also monitored the 2019 general elections in South Africa. She holds a
certificate in PC Engineering and is working towards her degree in logistics. Since working at MMA
Bantse has been working closely with the children’s team and has an interest in working with and advocating for children’s rights. She is hoping to one day run her own NGO and help under privileged children in the rural areas of Pretoria and its surroundings. Bantse enjoys playing the piano; she’s an avid badminton player and a 30 seconds champion.

Nomshado Lubisi

Nomshado obtained a degree in Communication Science and is currently furthering her postgraduate studies in Media Studies at the University of South Africa. She has experience in Marketing, Public Relations, social media, writing , strategy and Planning. At MMA, Nomshado is the Communications Manager, she is responsible for lead strategy and implementation of communications. Nomshado has interests in Digital media, Strategic Communications, Gender and Media Research. She is a proud South African who can speak over four official languages. She describes herself as outgoing, fun and a lady who loves anything African. She is an unapologetic avid reader and enjoys traveling, exercising and blogging.

Baatile Mohale

Kgothatso Mohale, who is affectionately known as Baatile first joined MMA as a Media Monitor back in 2015 to 2016. She couldn't stay away from the awesomeness that is MMA and has since come back as a Project Administrator in 2018 and a Communications Coordinator in 2019. Baatile has obtained a Diploma in Journalism and a Certificate in Social Media. She loves going to Church, Traveling and hanging out with her family and friends. In her spare time, she is a Photographer, a Blogger and plays the Violin.

Azola Dayile

Azola is a writer and social activist from KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth. He obtained a National Diploma in Journalism and further pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media, Communications and Culture at the Nelson Mandela University. Besides being a nerdy news -junkie, Azola also enjoys conversations around literature, philosophy, politics and the post-94 media & journalism landscape in South Africa. He is also a contributing author to the book "We Are No Longer At Ease", a collection of essays, poems and reflections by Fees Must Fall activists and allies, edited by Busani and Wandile Ngcaweni. His interests include news/media production, strategic communication, social activism, public policy and governance, community and youth development as well as education for social change.

Ntsako Manganyi

Ntsako holds a BA Degree in International Relations and Political Sciences from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is passionate about media policy and regulation. He first joined media monitoring Africa in 2011 as media monitor. Since then, he has worked as a Media Monitor on different projects. He then joined MMA Policy Unit on full time basis as a research in 2016 where he focuses on media policy and regulation. Ntsako is currently a committee member of the South African Internet Governance Forum. He has interests in media diversity, human rights, gender, new media, current affairs and South African politics. He is interested South African history book and a loyal fan of South African national sports teams of rugby, soccer and cricket.

Lister Namumba-Rikhotso

Lister is an experienced project management coordinator with a demonstrated history of working in the children’s rights advocacy, research, media and communication fields. She is also skilled in social media, community outreach and development, capacity building, marketing and fundraising. Lister has been championing children’s rights and best practices in the media for over 10 years. She believes how the media portrays children in their reporting has a direct influence on how society will begin to view and treat them. Lister has a Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management from Cavendish University in Zambia. She was born and raised in Zambia and relocated to South Africa in 2014. In her spare time, Lister enjoys writing and reading. Some of her stories are enjoying a great readership on social media.

Phakamile Khumalo

Phakamile Khumalo joined Media Monitoring Africa in July 2016 as the Web Rangers coordinator and is experienced in Media monitoring & analysis, customer service, project coordination and facilitation. She describes herself as a loud, fun-loving ‘Kasi girl’ with a passion for youth development. She joins the team with the hopes of contributing to African youth development plans that will see her serving her community and Africa at large. In 2019 she was listed as the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in the civil society category. She strongly believes and is committed to the kind of development that empowers communities to be at the forefront of their own growth. Phakamile has a Honors degree in Development Studies from Wits University as well as a post-graduate certificate in Public Policy & Analysis for Africa’s Development from the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute.

Msizi Mzolo

Msizi Mzolo holds a certificate in Public Relations from Unisa and obtained a Diploma in Public Relations Management at the same institution. He has experience in data capturing, monitoring media coverage on children, national and local elections. Msizi has supervised and quality checked media monitors in Zambia and Lesotho during their general elections. At MMA, he is responsible for overseeing data collection, monitoring and quality checking of all data captured on Dexter (our monitoring tool). Msizi also loves art, reading, soccer and listening to reggae music.

Jacques Ndong

Jacques holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Diploma in marketing management. Jacques is also a social activist and involved in different issues involving human rights and social justice in Africa. He is part of the African Diaspora and he is able to speak Spanish, English and French. His role includes conducting elections monitoring, various pieces of research and analysis, parliament submissions and supervising elections monitors. He is responsible of quality control of database and writes media monitoring reports. Jacques is passionate about Africa and its media landscape. He is interested in sport, loves park run and tennis.

Girlie Sibanda

Girlie was born and raised in Zimbabwe, she joined Media Monitoring Africa in November
2011 as a part time Media Monitor and was later on promoted to the position of the
Children’s team Project Coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the
University of South Africa. She is responsible for the MMA IsuElihle Awards programme.
The Isu Elihle Awards aims to encourage alternative thinking around reporting on
children, and to contribute to an environment that enables journalists to expose and
highlight issues affecting children in the country and the continent. She loves organising
mini office parties and is always down for a game of craze8.

Musa Rikhotso

Musa obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Sociology from University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He started working at Media Monitoring Africa in 2008. Since then, he has worked as a Media Monitor on different projects. He is currently working as the Children’s Project Coordinator. His roles in this position include training and supervising Media Monitors and Data Capturers. He also does quality control of monitored and captured work, database management and writes media monitoring reports. Musa is interested in books and is an avid local soccer supporter but occasional follows other sporting activities.


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