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What and where did you study after matric?

I completed a BSc at Wits University, with majors in microbiology and genetics. At school I enjoyed maths and science, and knew there was so much more to learn and discover. Although the courses were stimulating and met my curiosity, it was during my third year that I bought my first camera and found a new love.

You were in photography for seven years, what made you quit?

I had an amazing career as a photographer but in life we constantly grow and change, and when I got the offer to head up the creative content department at Gallo Images I simply could not turn it down. I didn’t see it as ‘quitting’ photography but simply an evolution of my role. I was representing hundreds of photographers and videographers, aggregating and producing content. It was here that I realised how much I enjoyed being involved in the entire creative production process. Today my photography has become more personal, I document things that are important to me. My daily contact with a variety of creatives has influenced me to truly step out of the box with my art.

Please tell us what you do now?

I’m the chief production officer at IDEA, which is a digital production house that specialises in developing personalised digital learning tools. I manage a team of 45 multimedia designers and subject matter experts, working closely to produce a suite of digital educational products for teachers, learners and parents. My job involves strategising and storyboarding ideas for digital content; conference calls with our developers in Cape Town; client meetings and supporting the CEO and COO. I’m sometimes known as the oracle of IDEA because I’m ‘all-seeing and all-knowing’.

How was the career shift?

The position at IDEA could not have come at a better time in my life. I was desperate to be involved in being a part of something that was going to change lives. I needed to spend my hours doing work that meant something. Working at IDEA motivates and challenges me every day. We are constantly evolving and innovating our approach to create excellent educational content. The IDEA team is united in believing that every single student and not just those who can afford it deserves a quality education. Together we are working towards educating the nation, not just the wealthy. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of making this dream a reality.

What are some of the challenges you faced while shifting from photography and how did you overcome them?

I feel that everything I have done thus far prepared me for this role. Working at Gallo Images prepared me to work with a team of creatives. My artistic experience as a photographer informs how I guide the designers as together we develop solutions that promote learning in an exciting and engaging way. Although I never thought my science degree would be part of my work life, it serves me greatly in ensuring that the content we create is educationally sound and accurate. All the puzzle pieces are lining up and I am exactly where I need to be.

Please tell us more about IDEA Digital Education Suite. How did it come about?

IDEA arose out of our collective realisation of the need for high quality, cost effective resources to serve students hungry for education. The foundations and philosophy of IDEA came from years of experience working non-digitally in building schools, training teachers and supporting student leaders across Africa. The digital part of our business came about when we realised we could scale up the delivery of teaching and learning practices using low cost devices.

How exactly does it work?

IDEA offers self-paced, interactive, digital content both online and offline. This means that students can use it at school, or at home as supplementary content, replacing the need and cost of a tutor. The IDEA content follows the syllabus and offers thousands of animations, videos, diagrams, infographics, audio recordings, quizzes and interactive activities. What we've tried to do is merge the world of digital and video education with traditional textbook learning to give students the best of all worlds. Being digital, means that we can constantly update our material and so the content we share with youth is current and up to date. I believe that IDEA offers the perfect opportunity for students to catch up to their peers or get ahead at their own speed using material that is interesting and appealing.

Who is the target market?

The IDEA products are designed to meet the needs of all students (primary and secondary) AND very importantly, all teachers. We believe that the education system and its outcomes will change when we engage students and teachers at the same time. We currently focus on Science, Mathematics and English but our team is already hard at work on the production of material for other subjects too. Our professional training tools for educators are aimed at entry level and experienced teachers.