About Yvonne Kgame

Yvonne GameYvonne Kgame is a professional with twenty-eight years of experience as a leader and senior executive in local and international print publishing and public broadcasting at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). Yvonne is also a teacher, chief examiner, mentor, inspirational speaker and researcher and is currently The Executive: Innovations and Editorial Manager of Local Content at the SABC.

During the period of South Africa’s transition to democracy, Yvonne provided insightful leadership in educational broadcasting.  The collective work of her and the team she led has been recognised through 150 international and local awards, and the development of strategic partnerships resulting in a number of co-productions. Among the most prestigious awards she has received are: the Peabody Award, the CBA Broadcasting Award for Outstanding Children’s programmes, and four awards in Italy including the Grand Jury Prize. She was nominated for a South African Feather Award in her personal capacity. She received an award from Images and Voices of Hope, an international organisation focusing on International Dialogues for Thought Leaders in Media – Journalism.

Following her successful leadership in education broadcasting, Yvonne headed up the SABC’s Content Hub, overseeing a broad spectrum of programming genres. At the apex of work in this role, she was overseeing the conceptualisation and broadcasting of more than 800 programmes. During this time her work was recognised through more than 80 local and international awards in just over two and a half years. Amongst these are: an Emmy Award of Recognition for Hosting the Semi-final round of the International Emmys; FEPACI (Pan African Federation of Filmmakers): a Recognition Award for services rendered. After her double stroke, Yvonne was appointed Executive Manager: Innovation and Editorial. In this role, she supports content houses across various media platforms which express, celebrate and affirm South African and African stories.Yvonne’s passion for weaving and positioning the African tapestry in a global context represents her quest for making Africa’s great stories widely known.

Yvonne’s academic qualifications include a Master of Arts (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), a Materials Development Certificate (Thames Valley University, United Kingdom), Bachelor of Arts Hons (Wits University, South Africa, 1992), a Bachelor of Arts in Education (Honours) (Wits University), Bachelor of Arts with distinction in Education (UNISA, South Africa), a Senior Secondary Teachers Diploma (Soweto College). She has recently obtained a Certificate in Occupationally Directed Education & Training Development Practices – NQF 4 (Maccauvlei Learning Academy).

Yvonne has served as a board member of various international and national boards, including: International Public Television; Basel Forum; Sithengi Board (International Film and TV Festival); Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences; Oscar Selection Committee; Chowac (Christ Haven of Workers Adult Literacy Centre) and Chief Examiner at the IEB. She has recently been appointed Chair of the Board of the International Association of Human Values.

ENDORSEMENTS AND COMMENTARY FOR YVONNE KGAME

“Where are friendships born? It could be at school, at work, at a party or any other meeting place. My friendship with Yvonne is unique – it was born in the toilet at Macmillan Swaziland offices. The chemistry was awesome. We spoke about beauty; we joked and laughed before we introduced each other. We agreed on one thing, ‘people meet and connect for a reason but fail to follow through’. We promised to stay in touch – Yvonne was based in the Johannesburg office and I was in the Swaziland office. When I reflect on this chance meeting, I am always most grateful that our paths crossed.

In 1995 I moved to the Johannesburg office. The universe brought us closer as we lived in the same neighbourhood. We started a lift club to work. Our conversations were mostly on changing the world for the better. I used to say to her ‘as a teacher and a writer – you can change the world through books and education’.

Yvonne loved shopping and I refused to join her on the shopping trips but she would still buy me something. The more I got to know Yvonne, the more I got puzzled by her spirit of giving. I have lost count of very meaningful presents I have received from Yvonne. It was not until I met her late mother that I understood her kind heart and genuine love for others. Mama always looked out for the less privileged and so does Yvonne.

Being a ‘KuntaKinte’ from Zimbabwe with no mother figure in South Africa, Mama adopted me as one of her daughters. Every year end, she would make sure that we give her our old clothes to donate to those in need. And Yvonne would justify that we need to buy more clothes so that the needy can also receive nice clothes! Her argument was ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself’ – so let us dress the less privileged as we dress ourselves.

Yvonne’s health took a downturn on Friday 14 June 2007 when she was diagnosed with a life threatening disease. I saw another side Yvonne – a phenomenal woman of great courage, with no fear – trusting and believing against all odds that all be well. She does not see problems but challenges and she believes with every challenge lies a great opportunity. Yvonne is a great inspiration to me and my family. I am truly blessed to have an awesome friend, sister and confidante like Yvonne.”

Francie Shoniwa, friend and publishing colleague

“The essence of life’s journey is communication with our Creator in order to accomplish His purpose. Quite often we go placidly through life without hearing Him. Mum Vonnie heard Him and responded, thus consumating her relationship with Him.”

Judge Bakone Justice Moloto, former South African lawyer, now a judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in The Hague

“I first met Yvonne in late December 2007 for lunch at her home about six months after Yvonne’s suffered a double stroke. I was struck by her presence and strength of being. I knew how hard it was to recover from a severe illness. I had had to take chemotherapy for nearly a year, twelve months before. So I knew what it was like to battle with every part of your body willing it to live but aware that death could be very close by. It was at that lunch as we laughed, ate and shared stories that her eyes told me she had conquered, the strength of her victory came through her eyes telling ‘it is well with my soul’. This book helps the reader to understand what it is to walk the tight rope, battling for your life.

Yvonne’s book is a mantra on how to believe, trust and accept the gift of life. She uses memory to rediscover the past and takes us back to her childhood through to the present …. We understand through these words why she had to fight for life and why she chose faith and prayer as her weapon through the long journey.”

Infinite Grace is a meditation on loving, healing and prayer.

Lauretta Ngcobo, novelist, feminist writer and activist. Author of “Cross of Gold” and “They didn’t Die”, Editor of “Let it be Told” and “Fiki learns to like other People”

I celebrate Yvonne’s life, love, energy, uBuntu bakhe, her humility and graciousness!

“I met Yvonne several years ago at a friend’s home. We were there to support the family as they were nursing their mother who was unwell at the time. Yvonne was busy massaging her. She was doing it with such tenderness, full of loving and caring manipulation, accompanied by prayers. Watching her in action, I couldn’t help it, and I said to her that one day I would like her to do the same to me. I was envious, and, guess what? It never fell on deaf ears because, after some time Yvonne fulfilled her promise to me. I have been enjoying her love and care ever since. She is where she is needed the most, physically or otherwise, albeit through her numerous messages of encouragement or daily inspiration. Yvonne is mothering me, it’s not the other way around.”

Today I rejoice and am ever so proud of Yvonne because she is courageous, wise and extremely generous to want to share her life’s journey and healing with all of us.  We can only wish her well!

Emma Mashinini, pioneer of the formation of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). Author of “Strikes have followed me all my life” Awarded the National Order of Luthuli in South Africa and present at the adoption of the freedom charter at the People’s Congress, Kliptown, Johannesburg

“Yvonne and I met at St Francis College and have been friends for more than 30 …. Our friendship has grown over the years and the power of prayer has strengthened our friendship. I truly believe that Yvonne and I are soul mates.

Yvonne takes time on a daily basis to send me words of wisdom and advice which I enjoy immensely. She has been my pillar of strength and supported me throughout my battle with Non-Hodgekin-Lymphoma. Her positive attitude gave me enough reason to pull through and be miraculously healed ….  Much love to my dearest friend”

Thuli Mthembu

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  1. Living Positively – Empower though conversation and truth-telling | Taryn Harris is a body-mind movement specialist, life strategist, Nia practitioner, personal branding and development coach.

    Yvonne Kgame, (A teacher, chief examiner, mentor, inspirational speaker, researcher and is currently the Executive of Innovations and Editorial Manager of local content at the SABC). She is a regular contributor at these events – embodies such gentleness, grace and wisdom. I see her as the mother figure of the group – nurturing this tribe of thought leaders.

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