Award Staff


Nkagare Makhudu


Nkagare joined The President’s Award for Youth Empowerment (TPA) in 2013, prior to that he served as the National Youth Director at loveLife responsible for Youth Leadership Development.
His journey at TPA began as a Programme Manager for Gauteng Schools, progressing through the ranks to Head of Programme in 2016 and Acting CEO in March 2018 then CEO in August 2018 to date.
Under his leadership, The President’s Award received the Gauteng Premier’s Service Excellence Silver Award for Social Transformation in 2019.
Nkagare is responsible for the strategic leadership and direction of The President’s Award, Funding & Donor Relations, Financial Control & Management of Resources, Stakeholder Management and Corporate Governance.

Dhilnaaz Ramdin

Organisational Relations Support

Dhilnaaz joined The President’s Award in August 2017 as Executive Assistant to the CEO. She has now assumed the role of Organisational Relations Support with emphasis on Employee wellness. Dhilnaaz has extensive experience in Human Resources, Organisational Development as well as Customer Relations. Her work experience includes a stint at Dimension Data and a number of reputable companies. She continues to provide support to the CEO as well.

Palesa Matuludi

Head of Development

Palesa joined the organisation in February 2011. She was actively involved in youth development through the OLIVE LEAF Foundation for a number of years. Having previously served as Programme Manager for Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West, Palesa is now responsible for Research, Monitoring & Evaluation, as well as stakeholder relations. “It is such an honour to be working for such a dynamic organization that empowers the youth from all walks of life regardless of race or social class. I am blown away by the impact the Award has in the lives of young people; each has a unique story of how they have grown. I am also inspired by their commitment to serve their communities and uplift other young people in their towns!” Palesa can be contacted on

Jaco Maree

Head of Programme

Jaco joined TPA as the Western Cape Programme Manager for schools in February 2017, he however previously worked as an Award Leader at Karos & Kambroo, one of The President’s Award units. His passion lies in theatre and linking youth to opportunities in the Arts field.

He works very hard and always goes the extra mile. Jaco has taken over as the Head of Programme responsible for efficient and effective implementation of the Award Programme nationally.


Gail Brecht

Programme Manager, Correctional Facilities

Gail joined TPA in 2015 as a Programme Manager for the READY target area working closely with the Department of Correctional Services (DCS). She previously served as an Award Leader within the same Department, this is clearly evident in the way she is well-received by inmates (participants) and DCS officials.

Mandy Smith

Programme Administrator

Mandy joined the Award in June 2012 in order to assist the Western Cape Office with administrative and event management responsibilities. She has event management experience and that is clearly displayed in how she contributes to the Western Cape Office. “To be part of a team that inspires our youth to become better human beings makes me a better person too.”

Keenan Daniels

Programme Manager

Keenan joined The President’s Award in April 2018 as Project Coordinator for Residential Youth Care facilities, Community Youth Groups etc. He has now assumed the role of Programme Manager responsible for the Western Cape Schools, Community Youth Groups, and also provides support to the Northern Cape and Free State regions. “My greatest passion is youth development and empowerment. I am excited to drive the programme to reach more youth in the Western Cape, whilst ensuring that I develop their skills and attitudes”. Over and above his passion for youth development, he is an avid graphic designer.


Busisiwe Mzandolo

Programme Manager

Busisiwe joined The President’s Award in September 2018 bringing along extensive experience in Youth Development. Busi has loads of energy and her passion lies in psychosocial support for Youth at Risk. She is committed to taking the Gauteng region to greater heights.


Brett Malila

Programme Manager

Brett is well-travelled having worked in the UK previously within the youth space before coming back to South Africa. He re-joined The President’s Award in January 2019, after a few years of pursuing other challenges in business and the academic space. He is now back in full force to share his wealth of experience and knowledge in terms of youth development issues both locally and internationally. Brett is geared towards reviving the Eastern Cape region.

Nombulelo Habana

Programme Administrator

Nombulelo is one of our most experienced Programme Administrators, having served TPA for a cumulative period of more than 10 years. Her knowledge of the Award programme is unparalleled.


Alfred Phiri

Programme Manager

Alfred comes from a teaching background and has been involved a lot with sports development in schools. “It’s an honour to be part of a prestigious Award such as The President’s Award”.


Christine Wyngaard

Programme Manager

Christine joined The President’s Award in 2014 and has worked hard and commands respect amongst her Award units within Kwa-Zulu inland. Christine enjoys working with young people and she completely transforms when interacting with youth.

Mduduzi Mkalipi

Programme Manager

Mdudzi joined The President’s Award in September 2018, having previously worked for the Tiger Titans Cricket Club in the Eastern Cape. He is now responsible for managing Award implementation in the Ethekwini District Municipality.

Shani Stevens

Programme Administrator

Shani joined the Award family in March 2007 and she provides important support to the National Programme Administrator. Shani ensures that all Award programme information on participants, Award Leaders and agencies from all three of TPA’s focus areas are captured accurately on the database. Having completed a secretarial course and worked for a local estate agent, Shani contributes positively to our administrative needs within the organisation. “It is a great experience being part of a team of good people, who are doing good work, to make sure that our youth are equipped to meet the challenges facing them.”