Our Teachers

Johannes and Nothile Mthembu are the project leaders of iKusasaLethu. They have been married for 9 years and have two boys, Simphiwe (7 yrs) and Sanele (4 yrs).  They live in Embo and have just completed building a new home for the family.

Joe and Nothi have a dream of changing lives – “if you want to change a nation, then change the kids” says Joe, “Jesus showed us that kids are important to him. We believe that these young guys are the future leaders of our nation and we see a brighter future for them through this programme. Young people need love in their lives and they also need role models – people around here lead difficult lives and when you only see this you can become discouraged. When I was growing up in Embo, life was not easy but I was lucky enough to have the right people around me who helped me to make good decisions. I looked up to them and I learned from them to lead my family well. I learned that you can rely on God as a provider and your life can be better.”

Joe and Nothi started the initiative at Botha’s Hill Senior Primary with one Grade 5 class in 2008. The next year Nothi started with a new Grade 5 group while Joe took the previous group into Grade 6. By 2010 they were managing three grades simultaneously – grades 5, 6 and 7. The project has grown from there with help from volunteers like Phumzile Mkhize in 2011, and Anderson Tadeu Jussio, a Brazilian soccer coach who has developed the school soccer team and arranged tournaments with other local schools. Mbali Chiya joined the programme in 2012 as a volunteer and was part of the team until the end of 2013. Sipho Madlala started out as a volunteer at the beginning of 2012 and joined the team as a project worker from 2013 to mid-year 2016 working with Joe and Nothi in the two high schools, Thabela and KwaNthebeni.

book-cover-01In 2015 the team was joined by our very own praise poet, Lindo Mthembu, who not only worked with Sipho in KwaNtebeni High but this year also started a community project called Young people for Change which meets in Embo township on Saturday mornings. Lindo organises talks, workshops, fun and games and has even started a soccer team who now proudly wear their own team colours thanks to a generous donation from Mr Price Sports. Lindo has published a book of his poetry in both English and isiZulu, the proceeds of which go to raising funds for iKusasaLethu projects.























Sam MtshaliIn January 2017 the team was joined by his Sam Mtshali, husband to Stacy Mtshali and a father to Angel. Sam  has a degree (B.Th) from the Baptist Theological Seminary where he got an award for being the most promising youth worker. Sam was particularly excited to help launch the Youth Club programme. “Young people in our country are facing a lot of challenges, and they are crying out for help. What I’m here to offer is my experience in working with young people and creating youth clubs with programmes that are Christ-centred – and coming up with Christian based educational HIV/AIDS prevention programmes which bring transformation to local young people. In South Africa we are currently experiencing changes in our youth culture. In the past young people use to come to church youth programmes but now young people no longer coming to church youth clubs. Most churches are experiencing a decrease in the number of young people that come to their youth clubs. The solution is to take our programmes to them and reach them where they are in the community and in school, working along with parents and teachers.