Picture of Zekwande playing pool.
About Zekwande Foundation
The Zekwande Foundation was started by a Young Autistic Advocate, namely me, Zekwande Mathenjwa.

The Zekwande Foundation was started by a Young Autistic Advocate, namely me, Zekwande Mathenjwa. I know what it’s like to be trapped in silence and I want to change this for other nonspeakers like me. My loving family started this foundation upon my request, together we hope to change the lives of many, and mindsets too. Please do join us in our venture.

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NONSPEAKING AUTISM is a different brain type. You look at the world through a different lense. Your brain is intelligent, however, your body has a mind of its own. It does what it wants when it wants. The great disconnect between the two makes you appear as though your cognition is affected. It Is NOT. Nonspeakers are intelligent beings trapped in disobedient bodies. Don't try to make the body compliant to your view of normal, rather provide access to methods that help us be compliant to our own brains and free will.
- Zekwande Mathenjwa
Picture of Zekwande cooking with Chef Ntwentle Gcabashe

More About Zekwande Foundation

Board Members

Nicola Sowah
About Our Board Members

Nicola Sowah

Professional Summary

Nicola completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Pathology (Speech-Language Therapy and Audiology) at the University of Pretoria in 2008. She then completed her Master’s degree in Alternative and Augmentative Communication in 2017.

She started her Speech-Language Therapy private practice in 2010 with a desire to reach as many people as possible who have difficulties with communication. Her passion lies with the nonspeaking, minimally speaking and unreliably speaking Autistic population and she has been working with them since her undergraduate days. She went on to focus on the provision of Augmentative and Alternative Communication at her practice, as she believes that all forms of communication should be valued and supported.

Upon listening to the voices of Nonspeakers from abroad, Nicola, together with the help of an Autistic and parent advocate, started the Spelling to Communicate (S2C) community in South Africa. Nicola is also the director of the organisation Spelling to Communicate South Africa, NPC, and the first registered S2C practitioner in Africa.

She currently provides 1:1 S2C sessions, group sessions, parent and caregiver coaching as well as school support. She is also working on a training course to be able to reach Nonspeakers across Africa. The goal of the training is to coach caregivers, parents and others working with Nonspeakers to be able to presume competence, provide age-appropriate input, help the Nonspeakers gain access to emotional growth and support, and gain access to meaningful communication.

When provided with the right opportunities, methodologies and attitudes, she believes that all people are capable of achieving great things. She presumes competence in all of her clients and as the quote by Ignacio Estrada goes, if she cannot teach in a way that the person can learn, then she believes in changing the way that she teaches.

Reratilwe Leopšane Mashile (Rati)
About Our Board Members

Reratilwe Leopšane Mashile (Rati)

Professional Summary

Rati is certified (SASP) in cardiopulmonary physiotherapy with a special interest in critical care. She is currently working as a physiotherapist in private practice, practicing in critical care and pulmonary rehabilitation.

She has International qualifications in the field of FCE (Functional Capacity Evaluation) and Industrial rehabilitation from centres in Australia
(WorkHab) and USA (Occupro, Workwell) respectively.

She provides services in medicolegal expert witness and conducts workshops in medicolegal report writing to other medical professionals interested in this field of practice.

She has a keen interest in Intravenous Nutraceuticals and she is currently in a business partnership in this venture.

B. Physiotherapy U.D.W
CPT1 (South African Society of Physiotherapy)
Workhab FCE Licensed Evaluator. AMA 6th Edition Trained.
Member of the South African Society of Physiotherapy,
Occupro Work hardening/Conditioning,
Occupro Pre-Post offer Employment Testing,
Workwell service provider.

NTOMBIFUTHI AMUKELANI MACHEKE
About Our Board Members

Ntombifuthi Amukelani Macheke

Professional Summary
Ntombifuthi Amukelani Macheke, is born differently abled, a passionate philanthropist and a seasoned Corporate Affairs Specialist with extensive experience gained within various industries (Motor, FMCG, Banking and Petrochemical). A mentor and a trustee whose drive is to inspire and positively impact lives.

She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance (Cum Laude) from the Independent Institute of Education Monash South Africa, a BCom Marketing Management Honors degree from the University of Witwatersrand, BCom Business Management from the University of Pretoria, an Advance Programme in Investment Management and Portfolio Management from the University of South Africa and a Certificate in Accounting Information from the then Technikon Pretoria.

Ntombifuthi has served at the following institutions: Sasol Limited, Nedbank, South African Breweries and BMW SA to name but a few.

Communication & Regulation Partner

Micaela Moxham
About CRP

Micaela Moxham (Mic)

Micaela Moxham (also known as Mic) completed her undergraduate and honours degrees in Psychology at Rhodes University in 2016.

Upon graduating, Mic worked as a behavioural therapist with autistic children. After listening to autistic adult experiences and learning of her own Neurodivergence, Mic moved away from behavioural therapy and sought to focus more on learning about Augmentative and Alternative Communication methods.

Mic advocates for the right to reliable communication methods and the active acceptance of Neurodivergent individuals in society.

As a motivated and compassionate individual, Mic has over 5 years of service in education and outreach settings. Currently studying a Masters of Science in Applied Psychology, Mic is Zekwande’s aide and liaison officer.

Mic is training to be Zekwande’s future full-time Communication and Regulation Partner (CRP).

Mic is a creative individual and in her spare time she paints, makes art, loves listening to music, and reads.

Ask Questions

Ask Zekwande

If you would like to understand Autism or have any question for Zekwande, please drop your question here and he will respond to you as soon as he can.

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