Meet your Programme Hosts

Simba Takawira is a Senior Actuarial Analyst in the Business Development Team at Hannover Re South Africa (Life & Health). He has been in the Reinsurance Industry for almost a decade and has been in various roles, which include, Pricing (Group & Individual), and Business Development/Client Management. In the last 5 years Simba has been looking after various client relationships in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently the Secretary of the International Committee: Africa (formerly ASSA Africa Committee) and also, a member of the International Actuarial Association (IAA) Africa Task Force.

Louis van As qualified as an actuary in 2009 and joined Independent Actuaries & Consultants (IAC) in the same year.  He is a life insurance statutory actuary and consults to insurance clients in South Africa, southern Africa and the Middle East.

Prior to joining IAC, Louis worked at Old Mutual in Cape Town and also spent two and a half years at KPMG in Dublin.

Louis has been serving on the Africa Committee of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) for a number of years.  Through the committee work, he keeps abreast of industry and regulatory developments in Africa.

Prabashini Moodley is an experienced financial services executive and qualified actuary. She has over 19 years of experience across Old Mutual Limited spanning various markets and functions. Some highlights include her secondment to Mexico in 2011 to deliver a localised version of the South African retail mass business model. In recent years’ she has developed her leadership capabilities through leading teams and change initiatives as well as mentorship of young professionals. She is the Group Executive Committee sponsor of the actuarial professionals within Old Mutual and is also a non-executive director across a number of boards.
When not working she enjoys spending quality time with family and close friends, and travelling to new places and learning about different cultures, which she hopes to be able to do soon.

Doreen Morris rose to national prominence when she was appointed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation as the first black television anchor in 1984. Two years later she joined the country’s fledging Pay-TV network as Corporate Affairs Executive, broadcaster, and Acquisitions Executive respectively. During her tenure at the network, she excelled at live broadcasts and held the position as anchor of Carte Blanche Africa (South Africa’s equivalent of 60 Minutes) for a period of 7 years.

During South Africa’s transition to democracy, Doreen was approached to head up the Miss South Africa Pageant where she became custodian in chief of the brand from 1994 to 2000. Under her leadership and under the watchful eye of then-President Nelson Mandela, the title of Miss South Africa was repositioned as “a role model and national symbol of excellence” which was truly accessible to all races.

The pageant developed an unprecedented success, presence and scale as she travelled to and involved every provincial structure and territory to ensure true national representation. Through this experience, she gained first-hand knowledge of the diversity of the nation and many of her mentees have excelled as iconic and influential leaders in the fields of business and philanthropy.

More recently, Doreen has distinguished herself as an award-winning producer of documentaries both of celebrated South Africans as well as relatively unknown heroes and heroines of the country. Her consistent track record and reputation as a storyteller has earned the trust of the South African people. In addition to her work behind the camera, she anchors Vermis, a series profiling cold “missing persons” cases around South Africa.

She holds a qualification in Education, Public Relations, and attained a double Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) and International Business (M.I.B) from Bond University in Australia. Cross-cultural management/communication and negotiation were integral to her studies and her semester abroad was completed in China.

To date, Doreen has travelled to 41 countries across the African continent, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Abulela Gazi is a Fellow of the Actuarial Society of South Africa, having obtained his BCom (Actuarial Science) Honors from the University of Cape Town. He is a dynamic business leader with experience and expertise in the insurance and investment industry and is currently the Head of Client & Business Solutions at Metropolitan Life. He believes in contributing to drive an inclusive South Africa, which is evident given his extensive involvement in initiatives that aim to improve the outcomes of those from previously disadvantage communities. He is no stranger to the Actuarial Society of South Africa’s Annual Convention as he was part of the organizing team from 2017 to 2019 and his focus was on driving Transformation, Diversity & Inclusion.

Multiple award-winning Broadcast Anchor, MC, Motivational Speaker, Businesswoman and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Leanne Manas, is a renowned leader on the South African media circuit.

From Oprah Winfrey to Nelson Mandela, Leanne has interviewed an impressive range of public figures, heads of state, thought-leaders and local and international celebrities. She has also been at the forefront of bringing South Africans some of the biggest News stories over the last 2 decades.

She is instantly recognisable as the face of Morning Television as anchor of Morning Live, a hard-hitting news broadcast that she has been hosting since 2004. She has been the face of the Vast majority of Breaking news events in an ever changing South Africa, most Notably the death of Nelson Mandela, the dramatic resignation of Jacob Zuma as RSA President and the death of the Mother of the nation Winnie Madikizela Mandela. She has also anchored 4 General Elections, 3 Provincial Elections and 4 Presidential Inaugurations.

Her career has crossed international borders with Leanne broadcasting in UK, France, UAE, Mauritius, Ghana, Kenya, Gabon, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the United States of America.

Broadcasting everyday throughout a Global Pandemic has been the latest event that has been a part of. The total shift of how media is consumed has been a fascinating part of her journey. Leanne has been quoted as saying, “Being able to witness and tell the story of our ever changing lives is my greatest honour.”

Niel Fourie has been working as a Consulting Actuary over the last 15 years. He has experience in most traditional areas of actuarial practice and also some non-traditional areas. He has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial business ventures over the last decade. As a programme host he will be able to engage with presenters and audience on a wide range of topics.

Refiloe Mpakanyane is the host of ‘Weekend Breakfast With Refiloe Mpakanyane’  on talk station 702 and host of the primetime SABC 3 tv show, ‘Trending SA’. She is also an easily-recognised voice-over artist and her penchant for the arts and technology underpins her entrepreneurial work in research and on-demand audio content.

Refiloe’s MC’ing and speaking work has seen her hosting corporate and NGO events, including a trip to New York in 2015 to share the stage with Trevor Noah, Danai Gurira, Bono, and U.S Presidential hopeful, Joe Biden. The event was the commemoration of the ONE Organisation’s World Aids day.

Her talks as a professional speaker are divided into two areas. The first relates to literacy and access to books in South African schools. She was a National Book week Ambassador for 5 years and before moving to China from 2016-2018, ran an annual book drive in the East Rand where she refurbished school libraries (which were often just storerooms) and encouraged learners to read, improve fluency and understanding.

Her second speaking and facilitation passion, fuelled by her time in China, is technology. While there, she was so impressed and given pause by the ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives, the convenience and the entrepreneurial opportunity it unlocked. But also by the widespread government surveillance that it enabled in such a highly plugged-in society.

Her approach to tech and digital literacy is not necessarily focused on the processing power of the latest device; instead, it is to bring into everyday conversation developments around the world which impact us greatly but don’t enjoy widespread or consistent media attention.

These include:

  • the dismantling of the Obama era Net neutrality laws in the US; why we should be worried and why our local Internet Service Providers Association claims there is not a need to legislate around this
  • the scenario-planning around the possible bifurcation of the Internet (American vs Chinese) and where that leaves the founding promise of the internet as a global commons
  • the realistic opportunities that tech presents in SA and what we talk about when we talk about that hackneyed term – 4IR.

During her radio shows, Refiloe takes every opportunity to address ‘obscure-but-important tech matters so we understand what we are opting into, just by virtue of picking up a phone, but most importantly what opportunities lie right at our fingertips.

She has also facilitated her fair share of data science and MERL (monitoring and evaluation) roundtables and discussion panels.

Having had her start in the radio newsroom over 16 years ago, Refiloe loves nothing more than researching and conducting a good interview, and with these passions in her arsenal, Refiloe moved on to producing radio and eventually co-hosting the drive show of one of the country’s biggest commercial music radio stations (Metro FM) – and all this while also working as a news anchor on eNCA for just under a decade.

Passionate about the creative arts, Refiloe has dabbled in acting (the Clint Eastwood movie, ‘Invictus’ and the local feature film ‘Nothing For Mahala’).

She has interviewed an extensive and eclectic mix of musicians, actors, politicians, and captains of industry. They include South Africa’s jazz luminary, the late Hugh Masekela, maskandi singer Busi Mhlongo, actors John Kani and Don Cheadle, American Civil  Rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, directors Chris Nolan and Gavin Hood of ‘Tsotsi’ acclaim, and U2 frontman, Bono.

Her proudest achievements have grown to include her literacy advocacy work (in collaboration with the South African Book Development Council) as well as using her platforms to include ordinary South Africans in conversations around technology and digital literacy.