Meet the Team

William Bird

Director,  Ashoka & Linc Fellow

 

William studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg where he obtained his BA and Honours degree in Drama and Film. He worked in television after completing his studies. Unable to resist the lure of media monitoring, William started with some part time monitoring for the Media Monitoring Project, now Media Monitoring Africa (MMA)  in 1995 and after leaving television joined the MMA as a researcher. At MMA William has overseen or been directly involved in over 100 media monitoring projects on subjects ranging from gender based violence, HIV, and racism to children and the media. William has also completed overseeing the data analysis of the biggest civil society media monitoring exercise in the world – the Global Media Monitoring Project. For this project over 100 countries monitored gender around the world. William has also overseen the name change of the MMP to Media Monitoring Africa in 2008. William was appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2009 and also a Linc Fellow in 2010 for his work focused on children’s participation in the media.  He is regularly accessed in the media on a range of media focused issues.  In his twelve years as director of MMA William has helped MMA grow from a small 3 people driven organisation to a committed team of 16 people, with a clear vision and dedicated programme areas.  William’s knowledge of media monitoring and commitment to deepening democracy in South Africa and the continent has ensured his expertise is internationally recognised    In his spare time William likes to monitor the media when not otherwise distracted by his young sons.

 

 

George Kalu

Head of Children's Project

 

George was born and grew up in Kenya before moving to South Africa in 1995.He attained his BA Degree from Rhodes University Grahamstown majoring in Journalism & Media Studies and Political Science. In 2002 he graduated with a Post Graduate Diploma in International Studies also from Rhodes University. George joined the Media Monitoring Project late 2003 as a seasonal worker, but in 2004 he became full-time staff member at MMA. At MMA, George monitors and analyses news content, he has also been involved in administrating and overseeing various monitoring projects. He gives limited technical support and does all the electronic media recording and archiving.

 

 

Melanie Hamman-Doucakis

Head of Child Protection & Trafficking Project   

 

Melanie has travelled the world as a photographer. She has been to every inhabitable continent and spent time in some pretty far to reach places, think Kashmir on the border of Tibet. She took on the issue of Human Trafficking in 2007 and continues with it to the present. She has had shots published in TIME magazine, Field Produced for ESPN “Outside The Lines”, exhibited at Constitution Hill and was selected for publication by Nieman Reports (Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University) as well as having contributed to the Rhodes Journalism Review. Melanie hates social injustice, with a passion, and with an academic background in Cultural Studies and Mass Communication she has a keen eye for spotting the real issues beneath the surface. She likes to call people out on their BS, and is Media Monitoring Africa’s resident human trafficking expert and photographer, as she’s quite handy with a camera. You can see Melanie’s Human Trafficking exhibit at www.arealityunseen.com. She’s also Googleable if you would like to find stuff she has been involved with.

 

 

Musa Rikhotso

Children's Project Coordinator

 

Musa obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and Sociology from University of Witwatersrand (Wits). He started working at Media Monitoring Africa in 2008. Since then, he has worked as a Media Monitor on different projects. He is currently working as the Children’s Project Coordinator. His roles in this position include training and supervising Media Monitors and Data Capturers. He also does quality control of monitored and captured work, database management and writes media monitoring reports. Musa is interested in books and is an avid local soccer supporter but occasional follows other sporting activities.

 

 

Thandi Smith

Head of Policy Unit

 

Thandi is currently doing her Masters in Media Studies through Wits, which focuses on the Digital Migration and the subsidization of the set top boxes. Her key interests are in media regulation and policy issues – including the Media Appeals Tribunal and the Protection of Information Bill. She has an Honours Degree in Media Studies from Wits and her thesis looked at the representation of Julius Malema in various newspapers. She has a passion for the media, research and academics. At MMA she is currently working in the Media Policy and Regulation unit focusing on the issues around the digital migration.

 

 

Kgalalelo Morwe

MADOAT Coordinator (Children's Project)

 

Kgalalelo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies and International Relations and an honours degree in Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). Currently she is studying towards a Masters degree in Media Studies at the same institution. She has a strong interest in current affairs, media law, media research, monitoring and critical analysis, and a general interest in all facets of television news, television and print media production. Her research interests vary from media, democracy and development, and media representations. She is currently working as a Make Abuse Disappear Online Accountability Tool (MAD OAT) project coordinator under the Children’s project, where she edits and uploads MMA’s media analyses on the website. She also works with children from public and disadvantaged schools, where she accesses their comments and opinions on print news coverage of children, which are in turn incorporated in the weekly media analyses.

 

 

Wellington Radu

Head of Programmes

 

Wellington has interests in information and communication technology, governance, human rights and sustainable development. As Head of Programmes, he develops and implements the organisation's strategic plan, goals and objectives. He holds a Masters degree in Development Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand and a postgraduate certificate in Human Rights Theory and Practice from the University of Cape Town. He attained his Honours degree in Sociology from the University of Zimbabwe. Before joining Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Wellington tutored in the Sociology Department at the University of Zimbabwe. Since joining MMA, Wellington has managed projects in several African countries.

 

 

Ayabulela Poro

Head of Children's News Agency

 

Ayabulela Poro shows just what’s possible, when potential, skill and MMA meet! He completed his national diploma in Journalism at the Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape in 2009. As part of his diploma, he completed his training with MMA for six months. He continued working for MMA in 2010 as a research intern and was later appointed as Junior Project Officer. After impressing with his analytical and writing skills while working on MMA’s Make Abuse Disappear Online Application Tool (MAD OAT), he was appointed as the Children Project’s Editor. Around the office Ayabulela is affectionately known as “Big Boy” or Aya. 

 

 

Carol Mohlala

Senior Researcher

 

Carol holds a BA Degree in Media Studies and Industrial Sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is passionate about media policy and regulation. She entered into media advocacy in 2009 following her interest in ethical journalism. In her advocacy work, Carol has managed to influence various media policies, bills and regulations in South Africa. Carol also serves on the Press Council of South Africa as a public representative on the panel of adjudicators.

 

 

Lethabo Dibetso

Researcher (Policy Unit)

 

Lethabo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Political Studies and an honours degree in Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). He is currently studying for a Masters degree in Politics at the same institution. Lethabo joined Media Monitoring Africa 2011 specifically looking at the South African media coverage of the 2011 Municipal elections. He then moved to the Policy Unit where he focuses on media policy and regulation, and quality of the SABC. Lethabo has interests in human rights, gender, new media, popular culture, audience research, current affairs and South African politics.

 

 

Thembelihle Magonya

Administration & Projects Officer

 

Thembie was born and educated in Zimbabwe. She attained her BSc Honors in Human Resource Management at Midlands State University. She was recruited by the same University upon graduating in 2006 as an Assistant Registrar in the Human Resources Department where she served till she moved to South Africa late 2008. She then joined Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) in July 2011 as an Administration Intern for six months then was later confirmed to the position of Administration and Projects Officer (APO). She is the organisation’s “go to” lady who is mostly responsible for the administrative tasks associated with the MMA offices and its projects, including office and equipment maintenance.