Our core team has worked together for over a decade, raising millions of dollars in VC, and building and exiting multiple 8 and 9 figure businesses in the telecoms space. In an area where domain expertise is critical to success, our experience makes all the difference.
Alan is the founder of isizwe.com, dedicated to bridging the digital divide in Africa and providing equitable internet access to underserved communities. With 20+ years of experience in telecommunications, media, and technology, he is a qualified Chartered Accountant and successful entrepreneur. Alan has founded 7 companies, including Herotel, a wireless & fibre internet service provider operating in over 500 towns across South Africa. Recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and featured in prestigious lists such as "100 Choiseul Africa" and "Top African Entrepreneurs," he is a prominent figure in the African business landscape.
Lucia Swartz is a seasoned executive with a wealth of experience in leading HR functions for renowned global corporations. She has held prominent positions such as HR Director at Ab InBev Africa, SAPPI, Mr Price Group, and Tiger Brands. Lucia brings her expertise to our team as a Non-executive Director
Will is a seasoned leader having served as Senior Executive at Tiso Blackstar Group and Financial Director at Times Media Group. He brings this experience and wisdom to the isizwe.com board of directors
Jonathan Heinamann is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Athena Capital. He serves as an Advisor at LAUNCH AFRICA Ventures. Jonathan has significant investment and board experience spanning the Infrastructure, Health, Financial Services and Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors. His previous experience includes several years in IBM's financial services business in London. He played an instrumental part in the team that introduced the first online applications for credit cards and travel insurance. Jonathan has a passion for entrepreneurial development in Sub-Saharan Africa and co-founded Eden Campus, the country's first free rural entrepreneur university.
Steve has 20+ years of experience in Telecoms, Banking & Digital Payments. He is the former Chief Operating Officer at iBurst, a national wireless internet service provider. Additionally, he has held the positions of managing executive at Vodacom SA, founder and CEO of ARC Telecoms, and senior executive at Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank.
Chris is a qualified CA(SA) and CFA with 20+ years of experience in investment banking and private equity. Chris previously co-founded GemCap, a technology-focused private equity fund.
Rich has 15+ years of experience in telecommunications and was previously Chief Commercial Officer of Herotel and Chief Executive Officer at Kathea Communications. Rich is using his wealth of experience and deep understanding of commercial relationships to steer Isizwe's commercial development.
Marna is a qualified Chartered Accountant with 18 years of experience in various commercial enterprises. Her expertise and commercial intuition enable her to identify and manage financial and other success drivers while ensuring that the books balance.
Cornelius is a seasoned entrepreneur who leads Isizwe from an operational standpoint. As the founder and acting CEO of VulaCoin, our innovative micropayment solution, he deeply understands the intricacies involved in building software solutions for real-world challenges. Cornelius brings knowledge and experience to Isizwe, driving the company's success and growth.
Antoinette is a strategic business partner deeply involved in all human resources activities. She excels in developing employee-related programs and procedures, ensuring smooth employee and industrial relations, staffing, training, and maintaining accurate employment records. With a strong emphasis on promoting an effective and productive organizational culture, Antoinette employs her expertise in change management to drive positive transformations within the company.
Gina brings with her general management expertise. With experience in project, product and change management Gina understands that relationships are the central factor to successful ventures. Her heart is firmly rooting for a successful, inclusive South Africa and believes equitable internet access is core to a prosperous future.
Keagan previously worked as a software engineer building AI & ML systems for global water utilities. In recent years, he has worked with multiple organisations to deliver technology-driven educational solutions to urban townships, where internet access was always a problem. Keagan is passionate about using novel solutions to make internet more accessible and unlock the near-infinite potential that comes with it.
Tanita is a qualified accountant. Tanita has more than 12 years of experience in the financial sector. Her expertise includes property valuation, corporate finance, and onshore and offshore investment funding.
Chean is a former professional rugby player, head coach, and a member of the South African Rugby Union's High-Performance Unit. His journey through sport brought him success on and off the field. Through sport, he honed his exceptional ability to communicate with people, build lasting relationships, and understand sponsorships. Leveraging these skills, Chean now plays a pivotal role in our team, where he leads business development relations.
Sue previously worked as an Office Administrator in the accounting software sector. With a background in Business Administration and hospitality management, Sue is equipped to meet the day-to-day challenges of running a busy office.
Meet Sivenathi, the multitasking maestro who keeps our company humming with her joy and efficiency as our dedicated secretary. Sivenathi brings with her a wealth of experience. Her strong administrative and customer experience skills shine through as she leads the charge on our internal events. She’s passionate about service delivery and carries her tasks with diligence. She is sure to envelop you with her warm and loving smile should you ever encounter her.