ABOUT OUR DIRECTOR
Reach4Life Director Thandeka Mavundla shares her story
Thandeka "Thandy" Mavundla was born in KwaZulu-Natal as the first of six children, and was raised by her grandmother. At the age of 12, she was sent to Johannesburg to live with her father. Her Zulu culture taught her that as long as you appeased and worshipped your dead relatives (ancestor worship), they would guide and protect you. One day a high school friend shared how one could have a relationship with God through Jesus and she committed her life to Christ.
Thandy began leading Bible studies at her church and sensed that God was calling her to share the good news with people. After completing matric (high school) she took an HIV/AIDS counseling course and started volunteering at a local clinic. Every day, she counseled about sixty people who had HIV. At that time, HIV was a death sentence, and it was difficult to deliver such discouraging news. She wanted to give them hope, and began telling them that Christ would love them now and into eternity.
One day her pastor asked her to get involved with Biblica, a ministry that addressed the AIDS pandemic by developing what would become the Reach4Life Bible. She was responsible for gathering pastors in villages and townships, presenting the ministry vision, training the youth workers, deploying them into schools, and monitoring the program.
In 2014, she established Phakama Africa Community Projects, a South African nonprofit with the vision of ministry being carried out solely by indigenous people with deeper ties to the community. That platform has been wildly successful — in 2016, over 70,000 young people participated in the Reach4Life program.
Thandeka has a 11-year-old son, Pfumi, and directs the program from its base in Johannesburg.
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