Welcome to ALA’s New Deputy Dean, Tinhiko Nkuna

We are incredibly excited to introduce Ms Tinhiko Nkuna who joins African Leadership Academy as Deputy Dean.  

Welcome to ALA’s New Deputy Dean, Tinhiko Nkuna

Tinhiko graduated from Rhodes University with a B.A. degree in Legal Theory and French. She went on to read for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, majoring in French and History teaching, and then obtained a BEd (Honours) degree in Educational Management. She is a thoughtful and purposeful learning architect and has acquired meaningful and effective skills in facilitating student success. In her previous role as deputy head at St Mary’s School, Waverley, she led innovation through the school’s educational focus areas, including the social, generational, and transformational innovation to which the school aspired. She takes a keen interest in curriculum development and particularly curriculum design: creating authentic learning opportunities and critical thinkers that contribute meaningful theories, ideologies, practices, products, and services that will better society. An exceptional fit for the ALA community!

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and the youngest of four children, Tinhiko fondly recalls her upbringing: “The fact that my mother had me later in her 30s, had an impact on how she raised me- with immense love and great insight. I grew up in a home filled with much love and laughter, as well as moments of deep introspection. My mother’s profession, a dedicated social worker, impacted every aspect of our lives. I took interest in Children’s Rights and would teach my friends about our Rights and Responsibilities as children. This was a gift given to me by mother as she felt strongly about teaching us about our rights and associated responsibilities.”

Tinhiko at the South African Supreme Court of appeal with her moot competition partner

Unsurprisingly, given her advocative nature as a child, she had intended on pursuing a legal career. However, after spending 6 years as a full-time work-from-home mom, she heeded the strong call to education. “After having helped a friend with setting up a Non-Profit Company in the education sector, marrying law and education, I knew that I had to return to school to become a lawyer or a teacher. My skill set, mindset, and interests at that time in my life spoke directly to education. I received a teaching bursary from St Mary’s School, Waverley, and decided that I would go into education. My time spent as an intern-teacher also indicated to me that education was where I needed to be “ she says.

The learning process fascinates Tinhiko and she is particularly intrigued by imaginative intelligence and the power of the mind. She believes that what occurs in the classroom must be transferable into the ‘real world’ and what happens in the ‘real world’ should be part of the classroom experience. “Education is powerful in as far as it is effectively and meaningfully used. I believe that education which speaks to eternal principles, is values-driven, is transferable into various people’s lives and circumstances, and is transformative by creating innumerable possibilities for Africa. Real education has the power to get individuals to utilize their creative faculties and imaginative gifts, alongside significant skill sets to create a present and future which we all desire.”

When asked what she hopes to contribute during her tenure at ALA, Tinhiko responded: “My work in the Student Support space is crucial to making certain that we nurture and work with students that are having a stretching and uplifting experience that will readily prepare them for their future leadership roles. My ability to wear many hats and my love of variety and change will also help me contribute to various parts of our community as well as contribute meaningfully to all our iterative processes.  I want to make a contribution that will exist far beyond the time I am no longer at ALA: whether that be a systems contribution, student experience, or learning experiences in the classroom- traditional or otherwise.”

Other interesting facts about our new Deputy Dean:   

  • Tinhiko attended St Mary’s School, Waverley after being awarded the Student Sponsorship Programme scholarship, as part of the inaugural class.
  • She has spoken at EduTech Africa Conferences, the National Coalition of Girls Schools Virtual Conference, and will be part of a panel discussion at the HMH Think Digital First Virtual Series discussing “Managing the Digital Transformation”.
  • She teaches introductory French lessons to students.
  • She finds solace in meditation and prayer, enjoys brisk walking and listening to soulful house music.

To find out more about open vacancies and how to join our team click here. To see our latest staffulty group to join ALA, check out this blog.


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