Chair: Abudulai Suleman
Sulemana has been on the African Biodiversity Network Board of Trustees since 2009, and become the Chairman of the board in late 2013. He has a PhD in Land Economy from Cambridge University, an MSc in Rural and Regional Resources Planning and a BSc in Land Economy. Sulemana has worked for nearly 25 years in the field of development and supported the formation of many local initiatives. He worked for Comic Relief for 12 years, supporting organisations throughout the continent. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Transform UK and CODA International. Abudulai is a keen participant in the Earth Jurisprudence movement and over the years, together with friends and colleagues at RAINS, Ghana, has worked hard to inspire Earth Jurisprudence (EJ) and Community Ecological Governance (CEG) processes in Ghana, his homeland. Abud, as he is fondly called, is currently one of the Africa Field Representatives of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Liz Hosken was active from a young age in both environmental issues and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. Later, in the mid eighties, she co-founded The Gaia Foundation, to work internationally, based in the UK. During the first decade of Gaia’s work she was initiated into indigenous ways of seeing the world in the Amazon, which resonated with her own. There she learnt that it was possible for indigenous communities to revive their knowledge and practices and reclaim control of their lives, rooted in their own cultural identity. She now works with partners in various African countries to restore Africa’s rich cultural, spiritual and ecological heritage through experiential learning and the philosophy and practice of Earth Jurisprudence. She has a BSc in Environmental Sciences and a Masters in Philosophy and Education for Social Change. In 1991, Liz received the Jameson Award. Gaia has received the Schumacher Award, the One World Award for media work on biodiversity related issues and as part of the Colombian Amazon Programme, the Right Livelihood Award. She is an Advisor to the Home of Mother Earth Foundation and various other organisations.
Colin Campbell grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a respected anthropologist and a mother known for her healing powers. On formative childhood travels with his father he spent much time in the bush, learned from traditional San people the ways of the desert, woke beside lion paw prints, and regularly fished cobras out of his bedroom drawer. At eleven, he was diagnosed as having the illness of calling, which ultimately led to his being trained and initiated as a traditional doctor and sangoma. Through the time of his upbringing he acquired a deep knowledge of Tswana culture and its traditional medicinal and spiritual practices.
Colin is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine. He is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He receives clients from all over the world and facilitates group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing and personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology. Colin co-founded a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell. He is an artist and musician, bridging the traditional with the contemporary.
Sheila Berry has been associated with wilderness and the iMfolozi Wilderness Area for more than 30 years. She pioneered Wilderness Psychology in South Africa in the early 1980s by facilitating wilderness experiences for youth at risk of pursuing a life of crime and traumatized youth raised in violent townships. The opportunity to experience the peace and healing of the iMfolozi Wilderness, the Eastern shores of Lake St. Lucia and the Drakensberg was a powerful transformative experience for these young people. She was involved in the formation of the Wilderness Action Group (WAG) and has been WAG ’s Deputy Chairperson for several years. She is also a trustee of the Ian Player Foundation, the Magqubu Ntombela Memorial Trust and the Global Environmental Trust. She has worked with indigenous people, particularly hunter-gatherer communities in different African countries, and spent four years on Bazaruto island in Mozambique, working with artisanal fishing communities.
As a champion of wilderness and an environmental activist, she made a submission to the Leon Commission during the Save the St.Lucia campaign, where she documented the therapeutic value of wilderness, based on research she conducted for her Masters’ degree. She was also involved in Save Our Vaal Environment, a campaign that successfully opposed the Wonderwater open cast coal mine proposed by SASOL that would have contaminated the Vaal river and destroyed a vital wetland. She is currently spearheading the Save Our iMfolozi Wilderness campaign and is spokesperson for the iMfolozi Communities and Wilderness Alliance (ICWA) in its opposition to Ibutho Coal’s proposed Fuleni open cast coal mine on the boundary of the historic iMfolozi Wilderness Area in KwaZulu-Natal. Sheila is also the Director of Earthlore.
Method is trained as an Accountant, and currently holds the post of Programme Manager for EarthLore, where he oversees program work as well as the financial management, carried out by our accountant. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business studies (Finance), Diploma in Technical financial accounting, Advanced certificate in taxation and is a full member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). He has over 15 years financial management experience in both the public and the private sectors.
He joined EarthLore in early 2013 as Finance Manager but became increasingly involved in field activities because the work of the organisation invoked good memories of his childhood days, having grown up in a subsistence farming community in the Bikita district of Zimbabwe. He was actively involved in scoping and initiating EarthLore work in Mpumalanga(RSA) and Bikita(Zimbabwe). Method values the importance of indigenous knowledge and food systems, as systems that have sustained the very fundamental aspects of life from time immemorial. He firmly believes in and is engaged in community dialogues to revive indigenous knowledge systems, and to restore the dignity and rights of the earth and all its inhabitants with particular emphasis on the non-human beings.
He is currently enrolled for a 3 year international training course on Earth Jurisprudence.
Mashudu Takalani, holds an N6 in Business Management from Vhembe FET College and currently holds the post of Programme Administrator. Mashudu joined EarthLore (then Mupo) in 2009 as a volunteer working with communities in Venda. She then joined the organisation to work full time working closely with elders to to accompany communities in reviving their indigenous knowledge and practices. She straddles Administrative and Programme work, assisting in financial management and the coordination of field activities including community dialogues, seed work and eco-mapping processes.
Through force of circumstance, at the age of 15 years, while he was still at school, Sandile had to support himself and his ailing mother by doing various jobs including limited trading and photography. This developed into a skill for making videos. Though he is an entrepreneur and has a registered business that undertakes various ventures including construction, he is passionate about making a positive difference in people’s lives through his strong interest in his Zulu roots and traditions. He also has an interest in conservation and, in 2012, climbed Kilimanjoro with Rhino SA to draw attention to the plight of rhinos, traditionally a Zulu royal animal. For the past three years he has been leading Zulu Trails – walking trails in Zululand, for young exchange students from Germany interested in having a Zulu cultural experience, and helping with development projects including building a pre-school and organic food gardens. In March 2015, he started working as a community animator with the then Mupo Foundation, now EarthLore, accompanying communities to revive their indigenous agricultural knowledge and practices, seed diversity and protecting sacred sites.
Nkosinathi Mike Mlambo worked for 5 years as a Social Auxiliary with NICRO until he joined the Mupo Foundation, now EarthLore, in August 2015. He is a Field Animator, accompanying communities in Elukwatini, his home area, in Mpumalanga. During his childhood, he grew up in a rural setting and participated in farming with his family, learning from both his Zulu and Swazi ancestry. He is passionate about the importance of not loosing ones identity and and is committed to enabling the communities in his area to bring back their knowledge and practices so that they can restore the soil, their sacred sites and their farming practices to deal with the changing climate.
Lihle describes herself as an Environmentalist/ Conservationist and Activist. She is the first black and female guide to be trained by the Wilderness Leadership School to qualify as a Wilderness guide. From an early age she fell in love with nature and started volunteering with Environmental organisations such as Earthlife, the Wilderness Action Group, Ecopiece, etc.
She has worked for the Wilderness Leadership School as a backup guide, and has worked for the Wilderness Foundation SA in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape. She sits on the Magqubu Ntombela Foundation as a trustee. She is also a co-founder of Fezufunda Eco Environmental Youth Development Centre in KeiMouth, Eastern Cape. She has recently joined the team at Earthlore working as a Community Animator.
She is presently studying Councelling Psychology through UNISA.