The Character Company Directors are all volunteers and are the fiduciaries who steer the organisation towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure we have adequate resources to advance our mandate.
One of the most important responsibilities for our board members is to provide foresight, oversight, and insight: think of them as up in the crow's nest scanning the horizon for signs of storms or rainbows to explore, perhaps with a pot of gold at the end!
The Character Company Executive are all volunteers, some of whom are participating MENtors, whilst all are experts in their respective fields. Our executive team directs the functions of the organisation, including fundraising, campaign management, operations, MENtor engagment, development and marketing.
All our executives and MENtors are bound together by a shared commitment to support our efforts to raise boys to be good men.
Meet our directors:
Jaco van Schalkwyk
Penny Marsh - Founder & Director
Penny is a Johannesburger born and raised. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Cape Town but returned to Johannesburg, where she has lived ever since. Penny is married with two sons and three grandsons. For most of her career she has been involved in her husband's business to business publishing company where she has assumed a variety of management roles, mainly in administration and human resources.
The importance of family and raising children to be happy, caring members of society has been something that has motivated Penny throughout her adult life. She volunteered in several NGO and church organizations, also spending several years running a volunteer referral service, Volunteer Link. As a committed Christian and committed South African, Penny is immensely enthusiastic about the positive contribution she feels The Character Company can make to growing a happier, healthier nation.
Thandeka Ngoma - Director
Thandeka is a marketing professional with over 10 years’ experience in managing products, strategy and communications of some of the biggest brands in the country. She has worked across several Africa markets and is passionate about capturing the hearts and minds of consumers in this diverse continent of ours.
Thandeka is a wife and mother to 2 princesses. Her number one priority is supporting her husband and giving a good foundation to her kids to one day be independent, strong, God fearing women. She believes that God is foundational and that everything she does should be to bring others closer to Christ. She also believes in South Africa and being the change we want to see in this country. She believes that men should be leaders in our homes, but recognises that the reality of our society does not reflect this picture, with a majority of homes headed by women.
“Women are strong fighters who can do anything, but they can never fill the role of a man in a family or child’s life. This is why I am passionate about the work we are doing at The Character Company”.
Xolani Zicwele - Director
Xolani is a multi-faceted finance professional and a qualified Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in auditing and finance ranging from different industries in the Mining, Energy, Investments and finance, Transport, Communications, Media, and Leisure, amongst others.
His experience in auditing and finance is a strong foundation of his ideas of proper governance, financial management, and compliance.
Xolani is passionate about serving the interest of others and has committed his efforts to protecting these interests and adding a unique value that enables and empowers, which is why he left private sector work for the public sector. His vision is to see all people liberated from hindrances of being.
Xolani is an unwavering disciple of Christ; a husband and father to 2 two beautiful girls; a brother, a Thinker; a Muso; a movie buff, and a buccaneer, amongst others.
Francois Joubert - Director
Francois Joubert is a serial entrepreneur, speaker, business strategist, husband and father. Francois has more than 15 years business experience and his interests include Education, Professional Services, Mobile Apps and Business Networking Clubs.
He has appeared on major news media networks like CNBC and was interviewed on various radio shows. Through motivational speaking and business coaching, Francois uses his life and business experience to help his clients achieve exceptional business results.
His personal vision is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need and aims to leave a legacy of significance.
Jaco van Schalkwyk - Dad, Founder & Director
After starting his career in the financial and then corporate fields, Jaco moved into the NGO sector in 2001. Jaco spent the majority of that time managing a non profit in JHB where he experienced the impact of absent fathers on a daily basis. Despite the invaluable experience he picked up in hands-on involvement with communities and the NGO sector in general, his passion for the fatherless just grew stronger and stronger.
Jaco is the Dad and Founder of the Character Company and believes that only through intentional MENtorship and establishing a culture of MENtorship in South Africa will we be able to change the current culture of violence, corruption and abuse.
Jaco is married to his amazing wife Loraine and the proud dad of 3 daughters. He is passionate about Jesus and MENtorship.
Juliana Makapan - Director
Juliana Makapan is a seasoned management consultant, with more than 20 year's experience, focusing on high- level implementation of Business Strategies, OD, Business Processes- Re-Engineering, HR, Social and Leadership Development. She also served as a part-time Commissioner at the CCMA, where she was exposed to different unions and Bargaining Councils in different sectors.
Her experience in the Social Development sector was strengthened by exposure in international NGO's where she was involved in governance and advocacy. She has led teams in donor funded projects, as well, as managing Executives in different countries.
Prior to venturing into consulting, she was an HR Executive in multinationals, where she was extensively involved in providing strong HR related solutions,
in meeting business objectives. Juliana has successfully assisted organizations (privately and government) for turnaround of their performance on a sustainable basis. She also held positions as an interim Executive in different companies.
Juliana has proven track record as a member in Boards and Board
sub- committees in the private, government and non-profit organisations sectors, providing strategic advice and support. Her background provides the Board with broad leadership, strategy and governance expertise.