Makgathi Mokwena

Adjunct Lecturer at University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business


  • University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business




University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business

I am a registered Arts Therapist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, have taught psychology at two universities (Vista University- now University of Pretoria, and Rand Afrikaans University- now University of Johannesburg), have worked as a therapist and coach, have performed professionally on stage, and have designed and facilitated various programmes.

Education and Training

I undertook my undergraduate and Honours Degrees in Psychology, Speech and Drama and Anthropology at Rhodes University in Grahamstown and Vista University in Pretoria, received my Masters Degree in Dance Movement Therapy at Antioch Graduate School in New Hampshire (through a Fulbright Scholarship), and my Doctoral Degree in Psychology at Rand Afrikaans University, in Johannesburg. I have also participated in a 200 hour internationally certified yoga teacher training programme in Rishikesh in India, in 2015.

Work Focus My work largely (but not exclusively) centres on personal development, and references the self within the context of a larger team/community/system. The paradigm I hold is appreciative and strength-based, where I believe that all human beings are oriented towards, and have the capacity to grow and better themselves. Drawing on this inner space of personal excellence can directly contribute towards organisational excellence and achievement. I make use of rigorous self-inquiry and reflection as tools for understanding and appreciation oneself, in order to serve self, others and organisation. Meaning and purpose (or the search thereof) form a cornerstone of this framework.

I work within the NGO as well as corporate sectors. My work in the NGO sector focuses on personal and interpersonal leadership development, which is intended towards the improvement of self and society. The main beneficiary groups are mainly, but not exclusively women, and young people. My offering in this respect has the primary intention of reconnecting individuals with themselves, with their dream, and with the inner energy necessary to pursue and achieve that dream.

My employment in the corporate sector extends to facilitation on programmes such as Executive Development Programmes, Emerging Leadership Development Programmes, Women in Leadership, Train the Trainer on a number of programmes, Leadership Presence, Unconscious Bias, Race Dialogues, Exploring Culture and Cultural Appreciation, Self-Storying in Stillness Retreats, Mentorship Training Programmes, Business Presentation Skills, various Diversity Training Programmes, and Having Crucial Conversations, all conducted with clients representing various levels of government, the private sector, academia and civil society. Experiences include the administration, report-writing and feedback-giving of psychometric assessments such as the Bar-On EQ assessment, 360 assessments, Cognitive Personality Profile, Assessment Centres, and Personality Type Indicator Assessments.

I also hold ceremony and facilitate ritual to help individuals journey through various life passages such as marriage, the scattering of ashes, birthdays and other rites which mark important transitions in a person’s life.


The methodology I draw on is integrative in nature, and incorporates emotional, embodiment, spiritual and mental intelligences. Various Expressive Arts modalities may be integrated in the work, in service of building an experiential learning milieu. I have experience in the use of Open Space, Time to Think, World Café, Industrial Theatre, and Forum Theatre.


I have collaborated on numerous programme design and deliveries with service providers such as The University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, The University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science, Duke University, Dialogue Communications, African Institute for Mentoring, Indigenous People’s Knowledge, Solstice Global Human Capital Solutions, Law Society of South Africa and Leadership Activate! Specific client contact includes both national, continental and international companies.

Awards, Fellowships and Honours

RAU Merit Bursary, 1999-2002

Readers' Digest Merit Fellowship, USA, 1997

Fulbright Scholarship, USA, Aug 1995-Dec 1997

Listed in the Femina Directory of Leading Women, 1995-1996

Gluckman Drama Bursary, South Africa, 1991

Academic Support Award, South Africa, 1991

French Embassy Bursary, South Africa, 1986


Mokwena, M (2012), chapter: dancing in colour: a soul’s journey toward spirit, Fourthwall Books.

Mokwena, M (2012), chapter: An African Perspective on Community Psychology, Van Schaick Publishing

Mokwena, M (2007), chapter: An African Perspective on Community Psychology, Van Schaick Publishing

Mokwena, M (2004). Interrogating traditional African spirituality through a gendered lens. In Agenda, no 61 2004

Mokwena M. (2002). Expressive arts therapies. In Voices: an introduction to the creative arts therapies, resource book. S. Harrop-Allin & N. Diuguid.

Bakker, T., Mokwena, M., & Simons, R. African Perspectives on Psychology. In P. Avis, A. Pauw & I. van der Spuy (2000). Psychological perspectives: an introductory workbook. Parow: Pearson Education South Africa.

Heyns, C., Mokwena, L., & Ncholo, P. (1993). Towards a South African student volunteer organisation. Pretoria: Centre for Human Rights.

Courses Taught

Read about executive education

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