Meet the READ to RISE Team

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Co-Founder & Chairman

Athol Williams

Athol is a strategist, social entrepreneur and philosopher poet who was raised and educated in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town. 'To keep dreaming, and in humility, by my words and actions, to inspire and enable others to thrive.​' Athol is the author of the Oaky series. Read more

Co-Founder & Executive Director


Taryn Lock

Taryn is a third generation South African Chinese who strives to make an difference in the world. She has worked as a Management Consultant, is an Illustrator who has a passion for education and literacy. She is also the the illustrator of the Oaky series. In 2014, Taryn was named one of M&G's Top 200 Young South Africans and is a member of the 2018 Obama Foundation Africa Leaders Programme.



Programme Manager (Mitchells Plain)


Roscoe Williams

Roscoe is from Westridge, Mitchells Plain and was the Business Development Manager at Taurus School Solutions, who conducted whole school evaluations at schools in Cape Town including Mitchells Plain. At READ to RISE, Roscoe is responsible for the school visits in Mitchells Plain. He was named LeadSA's WC Hero for September 2015.


Programme Manager (Soweto)


Steve Tsakiris

Steve joined READ to RISE in 2015. He is a public speaker, writer and workshop facilitator who teaches various modalities, including Sound Therapy, as tools for Personal Development. He lives in Johannesburg and passionately believes that children’s education is the key to a brighter future.


Business Operations Manager


Madeneya Bardien

Madeneya joined READ to RISE in 2015. She is a mother of three who is passionate about children, literacy and education. She is responsible for assisting with business operations as well as book covering sessions. She also assists the programme managers with their school visits.



Programme Facilitator (Soweto)


Nontokozo Mncube

Nontokozo is a mother of four children. She is a naturally gifted teacher whose vision is to develop future leaders by helping young children to learn to love reading. She believes knowledge is the key to self empowerment.




Programme Facilitator (Mitchells Plain)


Anastacia Von Vogel

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Programme Facilitator (Mitchells Plain)


Mark Klink

Mark grew up in Mitchells Plain. Joining Read to Rise has given Mark the opportunity to give back to his community. He believes in the power of literacy and wants to share his passion for life through the Oaky book series. He believes that if we all work together together that we can make the world a better place.