Play Africa is thrilled to announce the appointment of leading children’s right lawyer Rongedzayi Fambasayi as Managing Director starting August 1st 2022.
Play Africa’s founder and outgoing CEO Gretchen Wilson-Prangley announced the exciting plan to bring on new leadership earlier this year. She and the board engaged in a rigorous recruitment process, engaging more than 130 qualified candidates over the last several months. We are delighted to share that we have struck gold!
A passionate champion of children, play and inclusive cities, Rongedzayi has extensive experience leading multi-country, multi-sector projects across Africa. He brings to Play Africa a vision driven by scalability and impact.
“Play Africa has prototyped innovative models and cutting edge child participation and protection programmes in South Africa, and these interventions deserve to benefit millions of children across the continent,” says Rongedzayi. “We are working on upscaling our solutions as a children’s museum to address social and educational inequalities, through our programmes such as Bridges of Peace, Design Thinking with Children, My Constitution, STEM and climate change programmes, amongst others.”
Rongedzayi is a children’s rights lawyer by training with over 10 years of progressive experience leading multi-donor projects. He brings a global outlook to his role, having previously worked with leading international and pan-African child rights organisations driving law reform, campaigns and advocacy across Africa.
As an independent External Expert in the Working Group on Children’s Rights and Climate Change of the African Union’s Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, he’s driving the continental agenda on mainstreaming a child-rights-based approach to climate action and climate justice.
Rongedzayi joins the award-winning interactive children’s museum based at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg at a time of rapidly scaling impact. Already in 2022, Play Africa has substantially grown several original programmes including Bridges of Peace, designed to strengthen social inclusion, tolerance and ubuntu while addressing issues of violence, bullying and xenophobia in children, and STEM Seeds, the free curriculum for ECD educators to promote STEM skills and climate awareness through playful learning.
“Play Africa’s work is grounded in equipping South Africa’s children and families for the future through play, creativity, innovation and connection – and nurturing ubuntu and empathy in our communities,” says Rongedzayi. “I am so honoured to be part of a team that is building the next generation of African innovators and changemakers from a young age.”
Play Africa’s founder Wilson-Prangley is formally transitioning to a non-executive board role as she takes up a new position closer to her family at Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, WA, USA. She will continue to play a role in creating evidence-supported interventions to help children become school ready, with critical skills they need for a changing world.
“We’re now at a really exciting stage to meet the growing demand to bring Play Africa into more communities across Africa,” says Gretchen. “To expand our footprint, we’re bringing on new leadership to sustain our impact for generations to come. Rongedzayi is absolutely the right leader to take us forward into that next stage of growth. I’m loving working with him and the team to continue Play Africa’s pioneering work to inspire the next generation of African innovators.”