Bheki is a Regional Manager for Africa Foundation in the KwaZulu-Natal region, based at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve. Bheki works closely with five communities that neighbour &Beyond Phinda.
Bheki joined Africa Foundation in February 2004, starting as a Community Development Officer, later moving to Regional Program Officer and, now, KZN Regional Manager. Having completed his Bachelor of Science degree (Agriculture) at the University of Zululand, Bheki’s work experience comes from his two years as a research assistant and, later, from working with Dr SM Mtshali, HOD for the Department of Agriculture at the University of Zululand in Dlangezwa / Richards Bay. While Bheki was working as an assistant, his interest in community development was sparked when he was conducting research about the impact of poverty in the rural areas. His findings led to the scope of the research being increased to answer the question of what relevant methods of poverty alleviation could be introduced in previously disadvantaged communities.
Since joining Africa Foundation, Bheki’s passion for community development has grown through experience. He has also completed short courses on the Introduction to Project Management and, later, Advanced Project Management through the Regenesis School of Business, as well as additional short online courses through the University of Cape Town.
As a local community member and Africa Foundation representative, Bheki brings to the table an acute understanding of the mutual dependency between the community, who are a reserve’s first line of defence, and conservation, which drives and supports meaningful benefits for the community.