Tennille Rode, Operations Manager, and Amanda van Niekerk, Non-fiction Editor, are the FunDza team’s newest additions. Let’s find out a little more about them.


What previous experience has best prepared you for your role as Operations Manager here at FunDza?

I would say the collective work experience that I have gained over the years, in very structured, corporate NGO’s and Government, has prepared me for the role that I need to play at FunDza.

Which of the programmes at FunDza most excite you, and which of the organisation’s challenges most interest you?

The reading programme, at the moment, excites me the most. The brainstorming of the content that involves planning what is coming up in the next month, and the work that this entails with the various writers (both internal and external), translators, and editors, and then seeing the final product on the mobi site, and being able to read it, is very exciting. Becoming familiar with the organisation’s policy and processes is my top challenge – an exciting one – at the moment.  This involves working closely with staff on streamlining processes and will in future entail training the team around this, as well as in the policies.

What personal milestone are you currently striving towards?

For a person like myself that is always thinking ahead, it is learning to be present and in the moment in both work and at home. Instead of anticipating all the time, I want to spend more time reflecting on what I amam I learning from each experience as it occurs.

What is your favourite time of the day and why? 

My favorite time of day is between five and six in the morning.  It’s my time – the house is still, my girls are asleep and it’s my time to exercise, meditate and just be quiet.


What previous experience has best prepared you for your role here as Non-fiction Editor?

My roles as copy editor on print publications and in broadcasting, as well as the kind of formative feedback one gives students when assessing their written work, have contributed to preparing me for my current role; as have all my years spent reading for pleasure, and as a student.

Do you get to read all non-fiction submissions that are published on the FunDza website?

Indeed I do! And what a pleasure it has been to get to know so many talented young South African writers through their words. They have so much to say – and yearn to learn.

What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?

Besides raising a son and engaging with the joys and challenges that presents to one on a daily basis, my greatest achievement thus far has been completing a first draft of a fictional biography based on my mother’s childhood in Strand Street, Cape Town, before the forced removals.

Tell us about a book that left a lasting impression on you.

There have been so many, but one that stands out is Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. It was a watershed read for me, in which I was left breathless by the sheer scope and imaginative powers of a writer.