Our Team

Karabo Mashodi
About Karabo
Karabo is an experienced planner and promoter with a unique skill set coupled with initiative. Karabo has been involved in activism against gender-based violence (founding the campaign, #PepperSprayCampaign) and youth mentorship.

Karabo has intentionally chosen a career path that combines the logistical needs of organisations with an ambition to assist and support others in their life journeys.

Karabo joined the Relativ team in 2020, expanding our capabilities through her valuable combination of organisational skills and multi- media experience.

Marsé van der Merwe

About Marsé
Marsé is a self-motivated, hardworking and professional person with a passion for helping people reach their full potential. Marsé is very adaptable and has explored a diverse range of work experiences and contexts to inform a unique perspective on the world.

She leverages her experience in education and languages with her unique expertise in accounting and mathematics.

Marsé joined the Relativ team in 2020, bringing her multi-dimensional mind and personality to strengthen our team.

Edith Mshoperi
About Edith

Edith is a curious scientist, specializing in waste water remediation and waste to energy. Edith has continued to build her experience across a range of areas to enable her to pursue her passion, through innovation and hard work.

Her expertise ranges from chemical engineering and biotechnology, to seeking an understanding of how these things apply in the ‘real world’ and complementing her academic pursuits with roles in research and data analytics.

Edith joined the Relativ team in 2020, strengthening our team with her knowledge of the environmental ecosystems.

Dr. Colin Habberton
About Colin
Colin has proven experience in business development, strategic marketing, corporate governance, impact investing and fundraising. He has worked in each of these disciplines both theoretically and in practice for more than 20 years in the US, UK, Europe and Southern Africa.

His client engagements include executive level negotiation and project completion with enterprises, SMEs, government and civil society organisations. He has played a role in key stages of the tech business lifecycle from startup through scaling growth in the finance, property, marketing and media sectors. Colin has focussed his career on serving organisations with one common feature – clear intent to create positive social and/or environmental impact.

He has contributed to a variety of industry and media reviews and presented at conferences across the world on investment, analytics, fundraising, and strategic communications and the perspectives they bring to business and social systems.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, a member of the South African Institute of Fundraisers, and serves on the boards of a number of for-purpose organisations.

Gabrielle Habberton

About Gabrielle
Gabrielle is the Co-Founder of the Relativ Group and a specialist in Socio-economic Development and Impact Management. Gabrielle has been working across the social investment continuum for over a decade. She has been involved in each aspect of the life cycle of impact-driven organizations, the investors that support them and the contexts in which they operate to enhance innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Gabrielle completed her formal education, which culminated in a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies, at the University of Cape Town. Gabrielle has since played leading roles in a number of pioneering organisations and projects primarily operating in Southern Africa.

Gabrielle’s work has included areas such as research and analysis; government policy co-creation and design; development of impact management and measurement processes and practices (from theory of change to impact reporting and learning); impact assessment and due diligence of social and impact investments (including a number of evaluations of Jobs Fund investments); deployment and management of impact capital; strategic and product development and planning; and guest lecturing on Masters and Executive education courses.

Damon Hyland
About Damon
Damon is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, creative director, and public speaker. He is passionate about using the medium of visual storytelling and creativity to inspire and spark positive change. Damon was instrumental in the success of some of South Africa’s biggest short-form narrative focussed content pieces which included prominent figures such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Gary Player, and many others who shaped South Africa during some of its most difficult years. Damon was also responsible for producing over 100 films dedicated to celebrating the remarkable ingenuity, innovation, and resilience of everyday South Africans, a platform called Beautiful News that has now reached over one billion people.

Damon is a purpose-driven social entrepreneur with an interest in creating positive change. He is resourceful, passionate, and has the ability to speak to a diverse audience through original content, storytelling, and experiences.

Gabrielle Habberton

About Gabrielle
Gabrielle is the Co-Founder of the Relativ Group and a specialist in Socio-economic Development and Impact Management. Gabrielle has been working across the social investment continuum for over a decade. She has been involved in each aspect of the life cycle of impact-driven organizations, the investors that support them and the contexts in which they operate to enhance innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Gabrielle completed her formal education, which culminated in a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies, at the University of Cape Town. Gabrielle has since played leading roles in a number of pioneering organisations and projects primarily operating in Southern Africa.

Gabrielle’s work has included areas such as research and analysis; government policy co-creation and design; development of impact management and measurement processes and practices (from theory of change to impact reporting and learning); impact assessment and due diligence of social and impact investments (including a number of evaluations of Jobs Fund investments); deployment and management of impact capital; strategic and product development and planning; and guest lecturing on Masters and Executive education courses.

Dr. Colin Habberton
About Colin
Colin has proven experience in business development, strategic marketing, corporate governance, impact investing and fundraising. He has worked in each of these disciplines both theoretically and in practice for more than 20 years in the US, UK, Europe and Southern Africa.

His client engagements include executive level negotiation and project completion with enterprises, SMEs, government and civil society organisations. He has played a role in key stages of the tech business lifecycle from startup through scaling growth in the finance, property, marketing and media sectors. Colin has focussed his career on serving organisations with one common feature – clear intent to create positive social and/or environmental impact.

He has contributed to a variety of industry and media reviews and presented at conferences across the world on investment, analytics, fundraising, and strategic communications and the perspectives they bring to business and social systems.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, a member of the South African Institute of Fundraisers, and serves on the boards of a number of for-purpose organisations.

Damon Hyland
About Damon
Damon is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, creative director, and public speaker. He is passionate about using the medium of visual storytelling and creativity to inspire and spark positive change. Damon was instrumental in the success of some of South Africa’s biggest short-form narrative focussed content pieces which included prominent figures such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Gary Player, and many others who shaped South Africa during some of its most difficult years. Damon was also responsible for producing over 100 films dedicated to celebrating the remarkable ingenuity, innovation, and resilience of everyday South Africans, a platform called Beautiful News that has now reached over one billion people.

Damon is a purpose-driven social entrepreneur with an interest in creating positive change. He is resourceful, passionate, and has the ability to speak to a diverse audience through original content, storytelling, and experiences.

Advisors and Associates

Melanie Jackson

Fundraising and Communications Specialist

About Melanie
Melanie Jackson is a journalist by training who has been involved in the non-profit sector for almost 20 years. She has worked ‘on both sides of the fence’, in both grant-making and raising funds for a variety of causes through the development and implementation of strategic communications strategies.

Her experience has ranged from philanthropic corporate and trust fundraising, to the more challenging individual giving arena, working in several aspects of individual fundraising. She has worked with traditional direct mail programmes, and more recently with face-to-face fundraising teams.

Through numerous client engagements Melanie spends much of her time guiding organisations in their development strategy and measuring the impact of their interventions. She also is a successful trainer and mentor.

Melanie is also a trustee of Positive Vibes, a Namibia-registered non-profit organisation and a council member of Northlink College

Steve McCallum

Impact Investing
Specialist

About Stephen
Stephen completed his MCom Cum Laude at Stellenbosch University in 2017 where his research focused on impact investment in water purification infrastructure.

He is passionate about using business to transform society by utilizing private and public finance through impact investing. He also completed the Oxford University impact measurement and management programme in 2018.

Currently Stephen is Senior Analyst at Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Prior, he was a lecturer at Stellenbosch University in the Business Management department and provides impact strategy, measurement and management consultation services. Some of the entities he’s worked with include: WWF-SA, Ukubavimba, SocioNovus, and Adaquo

Sophie Hobbs
Strategic Communications
Specialist
About Sophie
Sophie is a strategic communications specialist with 20 years’ experience in the social development arena. With a first class honours degree in dramatic art from the University of the Witwatersrand and a Diploma in Journalism, Sophie lectured in design and media studies before heading to London where she found her niche working in policy and marketing communications at UK youth charity, The Prince’s Trust. Since returning to South Africa in 2005, she has worked as a writer, editor, marketing fundraiser and strategic communications consultant for a range of non profit organisations and corporate clients.

As Head of Strategic Communications at GreaterGood SA and GreaterCapital, Sophie lead the Trust’s advocacy and dialogue work and headed up its NGO Consulting Services providing strategic communications and social investment advice.

Sophie currently heads the Strategic Communications and Business Development function for NACOSA – a national civil society network of organisations and principal recipient of the Global Fund

Marcel Henry

Urban Environment Specialist
About Marcel
Marcel Henry is a qualified Architect and Landscape Architect with 24 years of experience in architectural and landscape design and the implementation of various buildings and landscape projects.

In addition, he has past teaching experience at the Architectural Department, University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN) and currently the University of Cape Town (UCT) Department of Landscape Architecture and Geomatics.

He is the founding member of Urban Architects CC, Urban Landscape Studio and recently HenryDesign Architecture + Landscape.

Sydney Church
M&E, Research Specialist

About Sydney
Sydney has led research and evaluation projects across a diverse range of settings, including youth development, alcohol addiction, refugee and migrant wellbeing and gender-based violence. Her research career is backed by a Master’s degree in Social Research Methods from Sussex University, as well as her experience supporting disabled adults and young homeless people. Her experience as a frontline practitioner has had a significant impact on her approach to her work, and she sees the ability to design equitable evaluations as an integral part of improving impact.

Sydney has often worked in environments where resources are constrained, such as when she lead the roll out of a UK-wide youth work intervention and supported just under 100 Youth Organisations’ to demonstrate and improve the quality of their work. As a result, she is well versed in applying creativity and innovation together with a structured and methodological approach which optimises the evaluation process. She currently works with Firdale Consulting and 1000 Women Trust, as a qualitative evaluation and fundraising consultant.

Sarah Neilsen
Fundraising Specialist
About Sarah
Sarah has experience and education in many areas of social sector management – fundraising, communications, project development and implementation, and staff development.

She studied fundraising management and international development, and has been involved with many organizations, both local and international, in Canada and across Southern and Eastern Africa. Sarah has has worked with funders from all over the world, and has experience in direct marketing, peer to peer fundraising, major gift solicitation, grant writing, event planning, corporate partnerships, and legacy giving.

In her current role Sarah aligns the mission and grows the impact between a for-profit company and a non-profit organization while coaching and supporting various teams and departments on donor relations and community engagement.

Marcus van Wyk

Governance Specialist

About Marcus
Marcus has a deep sense of humanity has seen him engage in a myriad of societal sectors as he strives to apply his unique and varied skills set. His extensive experience and networks makes him ideally suited to engage across sectors and to bring key roleplayers together in search of mutually beneficial projects which have the advancement and betterment of communities at its heart.

He has a BA in Human Movement Studies and Psychology from the University of the Western Cape and qualifications in Educational Design Programming, Integrated Solid Waste Management Planning through the USA Environmental Protection Agency, Planning and Management of Special Events, Management Programme for NPOs, Project Planning, Corporate Social Investment Programmes, Health and Safety and Labour Relations amongst others.

He was held a number of senior roles over his 20 years of professional experience including Founding Chairman of Mthunzi, COO for Youth For Christ South Africa. He has also served as Project Lead for the UNHCR Social Cohesion Project in SA. As Consultant to the South African Council of Churches (SACC), Marcus provided protocol and logistical support for the 2013 State funeral of former President Nelson Mandela.He has also served as Advisor to the Chairman of the South Africa Dutch Chamber of Commerce and has extensive interaction as a Relationship Manager for various enterprises in liaising with all three tiers of Government, Political Parties, Private Sector and Civil Society.

Directors

Gabrielle Habberton

Executive Director

About Gabrielle
Gabrielle is the Co-Founder of the Relativ Group and a specialist in Socio-economic Development and Impact Management. Gabrielle has been working across the social investment continuum for over a decade. She has been involved in each aspect of the life cycle of impact-driven organizations, the investors that support them and the contexts in which they operate to enhance innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Gabrielle completed her formal education, which culminated in a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies, at the University of Cape Town. Gabrielle has since played leading roles in a number of pioneering organisations and projects primarily operating in Southern Africa.

Gabrielle’s work has included areas such as research and analysis; government policy co-creation and design; development of impact management and measurement processes and practices (from theory of change to impact reporting and learning); impact assessment and due diligence of social and impact investments (including a number of evaluations of Jobs Fund investments); deployment and management of impact capital; strategic and product development and planning; and guest lecturing on Masters and Executive education courses.

Dr. Colin Habberton

Executive Director

About Colin
Colin has proven experience in business development, strategic marketing, corporate governance, impact investing and fundraising. He has worked in each of these disciplines both theoretically and in practice for more than 20 years in the US, UK, Europe and Southern Africa.

His client engagements include executive level negotiation and project completion with enterprises, SMEs, government and civil society organisations. He has played a role in key stages of the tech business lifecycle from startup through scaling growth in the finance, property, marketing and media sectors. Colin has focussed his career on serving organisations with one common feature – clear intent to create positive social and/or environmental impact.

He has contributed to a variety of industry and media reviews and presented at conferences across the world on investment, analytics, fundraising, and strategic communications and the perspectives they bring to business and social systems.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa, a member of the South African Institute of Fundraisers, and serves on the boards of a number of for-purpose organisations.

Damon Hyland

Executive Director

About Damon
Damon is an award-winning photographer, filmmaker, creative director, and public speaker. He is passionate about using the medium of visual storytelling and creativity to inspire and spark positive change. Damon was instrumental in the success of some of South Africa’s biggest short-form narrative focussed content pieces which included prominent figures such as Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Gary Player, and many others who shaped South Africa during some of its most difficult years. Damon was also responsible for producing over 100 films dedicated to celebrating the remarkable ingenuity, innovation, and resilience of everyday South Africans, a platform called Beautiful News that has now reached over one billion people.

Damon is a purpose-driven social entrepreneur with an interest in creating positive change. He is resourceful, passionate, and has the ability to speak to a diverse audience through original content, storytelling, and experiences.

Therese Havenga

Non-Executive Director

About Therese

After completing her Masters degree in Research Consulting at Unisa, Therese started her career in market research at one of South Africa’s leading research houses. Her work included the design of data gathering instruments, quantitative and qualitative data analysis and project management for a vast amount of research projects in different industries.

She entered the financial services market in 2004 and her field of expertise includes conducting primary & secondary research, evaluating new trends and market adjustments to make recommendations for strategy, developing market segmentation models and competitive analysis and benchmarking in terms of products, marketing activities, distribution forces and strategies.

She has further experience in customer relationship & loyalty management, product development, understanding market dynamics and identifying new marketing opportunities.

Her registration with professional memberships/bodies include: registration as Research Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA); Investment Analyst Society (IASSA); South African Market Research Association (SAMRA); PsySA; Black Management Forum and Honorary Ranger of South African National Parks (SANParks).

Chris Habberton

Non-Executive Director

About Chris
Chris is a Computer Science educator who has a passion for developing future problem solvers by incorporating code into foundational education. He believes that programming is not only a vital skill that all people should understand, but that the true value is in developing computational thinkers. 

Computational thinking is a powerful problem solving strategy which has the power to unlock the door to gritty problem solvers who will impact the future by addressing world problems.

Chris believes in looking at a problem and identifying a solution that can be implemented at its grass-root level. This is why he focused on creating an educational strategy that starts at the earliest level of schooling. He spent time researching, developing and sourcing tools that will supplement the teaching of computational thinking across all year levels which culminated in the establishment of a hands-on research project call ‘incode’ in 2017.

The incode project is designed to bring computational thinking  to children’s foundational learning and to develop a clear path of progressive development throughout their schooling career through professional development for teachers and outsourced after-school programmes. 

Outside of education, Chris has developed a number of full-stack solutions to address specific needs within schools and businesses. He enjoys creating computational solutions for everyday problems by combining his expertise in software development and database architecture.

Partners and Memberships