Rhoda Kadalie, Executive Director of Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre, is going into a much-deserved retirement having worked since the day she graduated in 1975. Since then her career included lecturing at UWC, heading up the Department of Anthropology for a period, founder of the Gender Equity Unit and the Women’s Studies Programme at UWC. At the height of her academic career, President Mandela appointed her, along with ten others, to our first Human Rights Commission. After three years as Commissioner of Western and Northern Cape, she founded the Impumelelo Innovations Awards Trust, which later changed to the Impumelelo Social Innovations Centre. Impumelelo consisted of a small staff since inception and as a team, under her leadership she built up an innovations resource centre that has awarded over 600 projects since 1999, and has raised over R12 million from individual and corporate donors in total to hand over to Impumelelo award winners.
Rhoda is leaving Impumelelo in the hands of a young team who will take it into a different direction while protecting its strong base and brand.
Rhoda wishes to thank all her partners across the provinces who contributed substantially over the past two decades to making SA a better place and from preventing it, in many instances, from becoming a failed state. She salutes the vast network of award winners, master class trainers, and staff who worked tirelessly to make Impumelelo a success. Thanks goes in particular to our big donors: the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundation of SA, Sida, Cida, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Liberty, Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation and Distell Development Trust. To our many private donors, thanks so much for contributing to our success. The Annual Gala on the 4th November 2017 in Artscape in partnership with Artscape and the Distell Development Trust was indeed the best kind of swan song anyone could have hoped for. It was a wonderful parting gift to someone who lived and breathed Impumelelo!