The Makers Valley Partnership (MVP), a newly-established non- profit organisation that supports the Making and Changemaking activities in the East of Johannesburg, announced the appointment of Thobile Chittenden as Chief Executive Officer.
Having evolved from a loose formation of associates from the entrepreneurial, academic, and broad civil society sectors, the MVP was also founded as a result of forged relationships with relevant business and government partners, for example Victoria Yards, Nando’s, the City of Johannesburg, and associated organisations, including the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), and the Johannesburg Inner City Partnership (JICP).
The MVP’s purpose is to facilitate effective support for Makers Valley’s social and creative enterprise vision. The vision is that the entrepreneurial activities of the growing numbers of ‘Makers’ in the Valley produce viable opportunities, thus generating a localised form of a sustainable creative economy. Cross-sectoral networking, partnerships and infrastructure development, together with attraction of financial investment are facilitated through the organisation. This makes Thobile is the ideal person to see this vision through.
Thobile Chittenden (middle) with her team members Rorisang Sojane (left) and Leshego Mothibi (right).
“Makers Valley Partnership is excited to welcome Thobile Chittenden as the new CEO. With her strong track record in social and creative enterprise, and her commitment to the inner city, including working in partnership with MVP on previous projects, she was the ideal candidate. We look forward to seeing how she takes the organisation to new heights in its support of initiatives enabling a wellbeing economy in Makers Valley!” said Simon Sizwe Mayson, Chairperson of The Makers Valley Partnership on behalf of himself and his fellow Board Members.
As an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in Social & Creative Entrepreneurship, as well as Non-Profit Organisations, she is currently a Director at The Change Collective Africa which focuses on Purpose Projects. With over 10 years’ experience in Youth marketing, she has managed educational and behavioural change programmes, from pre-school to tertiary learners, through a network of over 3000 institutions. More recently, she has been involved in the running of various Creative Organisation’s inspiring “Artvists” in the making.
Thobile is committed to developing Creative & Social Entrepreneurship as a driving force for an empowered Jozi. She has joined MVP as it is sharpening its mission in forming meaningful partnerships in the neighbourhood. A key role for the team will be obtaining investment to accelerate community-led change. She will also be using her skillset from the creative and marketing sector to establish the Makers Valley Partnership Brand.
“It is a privilege to be able to join this incredible organisation,” said Thobile. “I’ve long admired the work and the extraordinary impact the Partnership has achieved, which I’ve experienced directly through our collaboration on the DICE programme by British Council. In addition to this however, I have always longed to see a Johannesburg that works. There is an undeniable spirit of innovation and an entrepreneurial optimism which I hope to tap into in order to enable growth in our neighbourhood.”
A product of South Africa’s past combined with individuals who care, Thobile was raised by more than one mother from different races, and brings this both personal and professional experience in diversity to the role. Thobile is also a dancer and wishes to reignite her Hip Hop Classes for Kids in the Valley in the near future.